Lawton City Council will meet in special session today to increase annual fees for full-time tenants at Lake Lawtonka, and to discuss firefighter pay.
The meeting will begin at 3 p.m. in the auditorium of Lawton City Hall, Southwest 9th and C Avenue. City officials also had expected to have a new Westwin Elements agreement on the agenda, but canceled those plans for both the council and the Lawton Economic Development Authority.
Instead, council members will meet on an issue they decided last week: increasing fees for Lake Lawtonka tenants who lease space from the City of Lawton, adding rental fees for amenities within School House Slough, and reorganizing general lake fees within city code.
Last week, council members agreed to raise fees by 25 percent for those who hold full-time leases for campers, trailers, boathouses and dry/wet stall sites. The new fees would go into effect Jan. 1, 2024, as the first installment of what city administrators projected would be three years of increases. Deputy City Manager Dewayne Burk said city staff is recommending incremental increases until the city reaches fair market value, a process he said would take three years.
Lake entities and residents have said they want assurances those fees will be earmarked for lakes improvements and maintenance.
The resolution being considered today increases fees for camper and trailer spaces at School House Slough, and for dry stalls, wet stalls and most boathouses at Lake Lawtonka.
Council members also will meet in executive session to discuss a potential amendment to the existing contract with the Lawton firefighters union. City officials have been looking at amending the pay schedule for firefighters, and also want an evaluation and assessment of the fire department to help identify efficiencies that may help pay for that. Firefighters said last week that they expected to be part of that process, arguing pay increases are vital to increase retention of veteran firefighters.