We could be going to once a week trash pick up in Lawton. It's being talked about and it's looking like it might actually happen. No vote by the City Council has been taken yet at least not officially that I'm aware of, but it's been included in the City's upcoming budget plans. Meaning if it were to happen we could be seeing the changes take place sometime this year in October. Hopefully we'll hear more about this from our council members, especially when it comes to a vote.

The reason the city is talking about doing this is tax revenues are down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only sales and use taxes, a lot of people are behind on their water bill which is also causing financial stress on the city. An estimated 4,200 plus people haven't, or are unfortunately unable to pay their water bill with everything that's going on. There's a lot of people due to the crisis who've been laid off and are struggling to make ends meet just trying to feed themselves and their families.

The City of Lawton waived late fees associated with water bills which has also added to the strain. This was absolutely the right thing to do and helped keep more money in families budgets during this crazy time. However the city makes a lot of extra revenue off these late fees. And I do mean A LOT OF REVENUE. If you've ever been late paying your water bill you know this all too well. It's a 10% late fee, that's crazy! Most utilities have a 1.5% to 2.0% late fee but not the City of Lawton. So they're also missing this revenue.

Now that City Hall is opening back up I'm sure people will stop by and pay their bill in person. At least those who can. Over the past couple of months you had to drop off a check or pay online, which to a lot of people is an inconvenience or they're incapable of doing it this way. I typically prefer to pay in person but have taken to paying online in the meantime. So now that the doors are open and people can pay in person that should help some.

I have to say I understand the reasons behind making these decisions when it comes to saving money and trying to salvage the city budget, but I definitely don't like it. We're constantly giving more and it seems like we're always getting less and less. It's just an opinion but I'm sure more than a few people agree. I think if we do end up going with a once a week trash pick up in Lawton the charges on the water bill for residential curb side should be halved. Right now it's about $18.00 monthly for twice a week pick up so if they decide to do this make it $9.00 after all we're getting half the service right?

So what are your thoughts on all this? Take the quick survey and let us know. We'll give all the results in a few days after everyone has a chance to respond.