The City Council will meet in special session today to look at capital outlay expenditures projected in next year’s budget, and to consider accepting the final drafts of master plans for Elmer Thomas Park and Lakes Lawtonka and Ellsworth concession areas.
The session begins at 1 p.m. in the auditorium of Lawton City Hall, Southwest 9th and C.
The master plans are the final products of analysis that Halff Associates has been working on for months. The draft plans have analyzed what the lakes and Elmer Thomas Park already offer, then after receiving input from a variety of entities and the general public, set recommendations for upgrades. The plans also include an aquatics master plan. All three plans have been accepted by either the Parks and Recreation Commission or the Lakes and Land Commission.
Council members also will be acting on three proposals from city staff to seek loans from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board. Two — for water and sewer work — were outlined by city administrators in March as part of proposal to use funding from the 2019 Capital Improvements Program to fund $80 million worth of water and sewer upgrades over an eight-year period. The plan would direct the City of Lawton to seek loans from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, then use those CIP funds to repay those loans.
A third loan proposal seeks $50 million to continue the city’s effort to identify 5 million gallons of water a day in alternative water sources: in this case, drilling wells into the aquifer under Comanche County. The city already has identified one well site and is seeking additional ones to reach the 5 million gallon a day goal.
Today’s meeting was originally crafted as a budget work, as city administrators work to outline the document that will guide expenditures and project revenues for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Council members have been reviewing the budget for weeks, but haven’t made any final decisions yet.
In other business, the council will meet in executive session on two items, including a pending claim from the Department of Housing and Urban Development that could result in the City of Lawton having to reimburse some HUD funds. The clam concerns the city’s HUD policies and procedures, according to the agenda commentary. A report on an audit monitoring HOME grant funds identified six findings and three concerns, according to the agenda commentary. City officials have not commented on the situation.