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Mayor's Office Heading City Letter Head

July 31, 2003

For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831


Mayor Coleen Seng today reminded citizens that August is their opportunity to learn about and comment on the City budget, the infrastructure finance plan and other important City issues:

“The City Council will hear public testimony and take action on several very important issues in August,” said Mayor Seng. “We encourage citizens to examine the proposals and to make their opinions known on these issues, which will have an impact on our community far into the future.”

The City Council will have public hearings on the following proposals:

  • Monday, August 4, 1:30 p.m. - the infrastructure financing package and an increase in the 911 surcharge.
  • Monday, August 11, 5:30 p.m. - the fiscal year 2003-2004 City budget; the infrastructure financing plan (continued);
  • an increase in the 911 surcharge (continued); and
  • the one- and six-year streets and highways program.

The hearings will be conducted during the City Council meetings in the City Council Chambers, first floor of the County-City Building, 555 S. 10th Street. All meetings of the City Council are carried live on 5 CITY-TV, the government access cable television channel.

Public parking is available in the lot south of “J” Street. Those attending the hearings are also reminded that “K” Street just north of the County-City Building has been reduced to two lanes for construction.


A special publication on the Mayor’s proposed fiscal year 2003-2004 City budget will be in the Neighborhood Extra newspaper Saturday, August 2. The publication includes tentative changes approved by the City Council on July 28. The publication also is available on the City’s web site and at the County-City Building.

The City Council will vote on changes to the budget at 9 a.m. Wednesday, August 13 and will adopt a final City budget at 1:30 p.m. Monday, August 25.


The “Building Lincoln” initiative is proposed to fully fund the six-year Capital Improvement Program. Mayor Seng has advanced to the City Council, the key recommendations from the Infrastructure Finance Committee:

  • An occupation tax on retail sales of gasoline equal to 5 cents per gallon.
  • A $5 increase in the wheel tax in 2004, 2007 and 2010.
  • A three-percent increase in water rates and a seven-percent increase in wastewater rates for fiscal year 2003-2004 followed by periodic rate increases in both water and wastewater rates of three to five percent over the next 12 years.
  • A proposed $106 million bond issue, which would provide $91.5 million for street construction, $5 million for street rehabilitation, $6 million for sidewalks and $3.5 million for trails. In the fourth year, the annual cost of the whole finance package to a typical Lincoln household would be about $200.

In addition to the two City Council hearings, two informational public meetings are planned to explain the “Building Lincoln” Initiative. The first is at 6:30 p.m. tonight, Thursday, July 31 at the Auld Recreation Center in Antelope Park. The second is noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, August 5 at the Cornhusker Hotel ballroom, 333 South 13th Street.


The Hometown Security Study Committee’s recommendations included a proposal to raise the 911 telephone surcharge 50 cents to one dollar. The revenue would fund a new 911 telephone system and the addition of a 911 dispatch work station. Adding a work station would require the hiring of five additional 911 dispatchers because the station operates 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. In future years, the funds would be used for replacing police and fire radios, other equipment upgrades as needed and additional staffing for the 911 Center.


The annual public hearing on the one- and six-year streets and highways program serves as the public hearing for the City’s Capital Improvement Program. Those unable to attend the public hearing may submit written comments by Thursday, August 21 to R. Hoskins, City Traffic Engineer, 531 Westgate Boulevard, Lincoln, NE 68528.

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