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Bruno v. Metropolitan Utilities Dist.

Supreme Court of Nebraska

February 28, 2014

JASON M. BRUNO, APPELLANT,
v.
METROPOLITAN UTILITIES DISTRICT ET AL., APPELLEES, AND NORTHERN NATURAL GAS COMPANY, INTERVENOR-APPELLEE

Page 51

Appeal from the District Court for Douglas County: TIMOTHY P. BURNS, Judge.

James D. Sherrets, Robert S. Sherrets, and Diana J. Vogt, of Sherrets, Bruno & Vogt, L.L.C., for appellant.

Ronald E. Bucher for appellees Metropolitan Utilities District et al.

Gregory C. Scaglione and Minja Herian, of Koley Jessen, P.C., L.L.O., and Greg Porter and James R. Talcott for intervenor-appellee Northern Natural Gas Company.

HEAVICAN, C.J., WRIGHT, CONNOLLY, STEPHAN, MCCORMACK, and CASSEL, JJ. MILLER-LERMAN, J., not participating.

OPINION

Page 52

[287 Neb. 552] Stephan, J.

The issue presented in this appeal is whether Nebraska law requires a metropolitan utilities district to seek competitive bids before entering into a contract with another entity to provide interstate natural gas transportation services. The district court for Douglas County determined that there was no such requirement. We agree, and therefore affirm.

BACKGROUND

Metropolitan Utilities District (M.U.D.) is a political subdivision which distributes water and natural gas to residents and businesses in the Omaha metropolitan area.[1] It was established [287 Neb. 553] and is governed by Nebraska law.[2] M.U.D. contracts with Northern Natural Gas Company (Northern) for natural gas pipeline transportation services to bring natural gas to the Omaha metropolitan area.

On November 7, 2012, M.U.D. and Northern entered into a contract with an effective date of January 1, 2013. This contract was an amendment to a preexisting contract between M.U.D. and Northern. The new contract provided that Northern would provide interstate natural gas transportation service to M.U.D. for 20 years for an amount in excess of $300 million.

Jason M. Bruno, a ratepayer and taxpayer in Omaha, obtains services for gas, water, and sewer from M.U.D. He filed a ...


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