OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Beginning Saturday, June 1st, the City of Omaha will return to its long-standing damage claims policy. A temporary exception on the policy was announced by Mayor Jean Stothert earlier this year.
In mid-March, the Mayor authorized the payment of claims for vehicle damage caused by potholes, if the claims met specific criteria.
Historically, the City has not paid claims for vehicle damage.
"Typically during and after the winter months, potholes are repaired quickly. However, we did not have a typical winter," Mayor Stothert said.
Since the start of the year, the city has received 2,393 claims. As of May 24, more than half have been reviewed and assigned claim numbers, 104 offers of payment have been made for over $30,000, and over $21,000 has been paid. The City has denied 156 claims, for reasons including the pothole was not within Omaha city limits, or was on the interstate. Claims have also been denied if the pothold had not been reported to the City previously, or if the person filing the claim was not the owner of the vehicle.
Claims will be paid for the City's contingency fund. Mayor Stothert adds that every claim is thoroughly reviewed, and the city must be sure the damage can be directly attributed to potholes before paying.