Omaha Streetcar Signal Is Green

The City of Omaha streetcar project is one, major step closer to reality.

At its regular weekly meeting, the City Council approved the issuance of 440-million dollars in bonds to fund the project.

80 -million of the 440 -million approved by the City Council for the rail system are backed by taxpayer dollars.

Council member Aimee Melton says future development in downtown Omaha will cover the taxpayers' portion through Tax Increment Financing, such as a projected one billion dollars in revenue from the Mutual of Omaha development,

A sticking point for the Council and Stothert Administration last week was whether Metropolitan Utilities District would change rates for customers due to water and gas mains being relocated along the streetcar route.

M-U-D says they can't guarantee rates will stay the same, but said they would work with the city to minimize the impact on ratepayers.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, the City of Omaha's Affordable Housing Plan is approved.

It outlines the need for more than 18-thousand-300 affordable housing units in the city by 2030 and 80-thousand new units in the next 20 years.

Details about how to increase the number of affordable housing options in the city still need to be finalized.

(Picture from the City of Omaha)

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