Mayor vetos changes to her plan to improve Omaha streets

Posted at 6:10 PM, Aug 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-02 00:49:10-04

It's back to the drawing board for the City of Omaha.

Mayor Jean Stothert has vetoed the council changes to her plan to repair the city's unimproved roads.

Roads put down by developers years ago are crumbling in various neighborhoods. Stothert proposed the city cover half the cost of street repairs, and that homeowners would pay the rest. Council members added their own amendments to the plan that the mayor says complicates the process. 

Submitted amendments created too many exceptions that could have "greatly increased" the costs for these improvements and prolonged the process through appeals, the mayor said in a press release issued Tuesday afternoon.

"It provided so many exceptions in this policy that the property owners can come to the council then have to go to the Administrative Board of Appeals," the mayor said. "And what that would result in is costing more for taxpayers and doing less roads every single year."

A Citizens Advisory Group had submitted a new policy to the City Council, but the changes passed by the council weren't representative of that policy, the mayor said in the release.

"The cost-sharing model we proposed is fair to taxpayers and property owners, and affordable for the city," Stothert said in the release.

For now, property owners will be on the hook for the entire cost of fixing certain beat-up roads.

"Without a new standardized policy, we are back to square one with property owners responsible for 100% of the cost of all future projects," Stothert said.