A recommendation to expand an existing contract to provide more security at Lawton City Hall will top the agenda when the City Council meets today.
City administrators said in March they planned to expand security measures, to include installation of a metal detector (to be funded in the next budget year) and imposing screening measures on those who enter the city’s major government complex. The city already has installed security cameras to monitor activities inside and outside the building, and has had a policy of making most people sign into the building.
Today’s action will extend the existing contract with Triangle Security Services, which already provides personnel to man the front desk in the main lobby when city hall is open. The contract for the coming fiscal year specifies two CLEET certified armed security guards will be provided to work the front entrance between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. A security guard will be responsible for doing a security check of the building at the beginning and end of each day, along with monitoring the main entrance and exit doors (by camera), directing visitors through metal detectors, checking bags and other personal belongings, providing directions and/or escorts, among other duties.
City administrators said in March that part of their plan also included limiting access points into the building. While the public must enter the building through the west main entrance, city staff with access cards may enter doors on any side of the building (the public also may leave through those doors).
In other business, the council will look at a proposal from Mayor Stan Booker to amend the Downtown Economic Development Plan, in effect recreating the process set in 2006 to fund economic development in the downtown area via the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District process. Booker’s proposal specifies the council will approve a resolution declaring the city’s intent to amend the existing plan, with the help of the Center for Economic Development Law firm (which helped craft the original TIF process).
If approved by the council, the resolution directs the convening of a review committee whose members will represent the entities that receive ad valorem revenue from the TIFs, including the City of Lawton, Comanche County, Comanche County Health Department, Great Plains Technology Center and Lawton Public Schools. Booker’s item specifies the review committee will work with the City Planning Department to craft a recommendation for the council, and directs the Center for Economic Development Law to recommend to the council “strategies for attracting investment and development, operating coordination and implementation procedures.” The center is to look at a range of activities, from commercial to arts.
Council members also will react to a recommendation from city administrators to decide the future of Central Fire Station and funding that had been dedicated to its renovation.
According to an item from Finance Director Joe Don Dunham, there is funding remaining from the 2012 Capital Improvements Program that had been dedicated to renovating the historic structure, originally to continue life as a fire station. But Central’s firefighting crews were transferred to the new Lawton Public Safety Complex, while Central is now used as the fire department’s administrative complex. City staff has proposed renovating the building to allow all fire administrative functions to be housed there, using the remaining CIP funds. Council members are being asked if they want that done, or want to submit a ballot question to voters asking whether the $700,000 in remaining CIP funds should be repurposed.