City of Lawton, Oklahoma Needs Help Spending Tax Money
Here's a little interesting blurb from the city. By the time the fiscal year ends in June, Lawton will have nearly $5.5 million extra to spend and they don't know what they're going to spend it on.
At least, they claim they don't know what they're going to spend it on yet.
In a shocking series of events, the city council is tossing out a curveball over the whole matter. They want to host two meetings to allow citizens to voice their opinions on what to do with the extra money.
They can do one of two things...
1. Not spend it and apply it to next year...
2. Spend it on something the city council decides is important.
Have our elected officials not heard the whole of Lawton complaining about roads for the last forty years?
Have they not heard the complaints over reduced trash service that somehow became more expensive?
Do they have no interest at all in finally fixing the online utility bill pay system that is--checks notes--still broken for many a full calendar year after its implementation?
There's no doubt that there will be a great many debates over what to do with our collective extra $5.5 million, I'm no different.
Personally, I think they should use it to push fixing our roads a faster process, but they won't.
It'd be nice if we could go full-on Ron Swanson and return it to the citizens. We'd get back roughly $160 per household in Lawton which would make up for 2022's utility bill cash grab, but the conditions of excess money written in the CIP won't allow for that.
By the book, the city council may decide to apply any portion of this $5.5 million to any project they can tie to categories such as...
- Improvements to infrastructure - roads and such
- Information technology systems - fixing the dang online bill pay
- City beautification - a blank check for pet projects
- Youth programs - sports, parks, etc...
- Retail development
Those conditions also include public meetings with the citizens to discuss spending additional dollars, though the odds are heavily stacked that the city council has already decided how the funds will be spent. The meetings are really just for show.
If you'd like the opportunity to voice an opinion that will be likely ignored, the first meeting is at 2 PM on Tuesday, April 25 at Lawton City Hall.