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Council approves funding for public safety contingency account

Members of the City Council have accepted a city staff recommendation that restores a contingency fund to the public safety facility under construction east of downtown.

Council and staff members have been bartering for months, as staff members tried to find cost savings to replenish a depleted contingency fund and council members kept sending them back to the drawing board after rejecting recommendations.

Tuesday, council members accepted the latest recommendation outlined by City Engineer George Hennessee, with only minor discussion. That proposal makes use of funding that was freed up when the council voted in September 2018 to close the 2005 Capital Improvements Program and transfer any remaining money to other uses that still complied with the project categories listed in that CIP.

The action also meant the council agreed to transfer $500,000 of the remaining funds earmarked for citywide IT hardware and software into the public safety facility project, to cover that complex’s IT needs. That meant project funding already allocated for the complex’s IT needs could be used elsewhere, and city administrators recommended transferring $300,000 to the empty contingency fund.

The Lawton Constitution

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