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Council could ban out-of-town doorstep sales

A public hearing for next year's budget, a final vote on a new Capital Improvements Program and a proposal to ban out-of-town, door-to-door itinerant vendors will top the agenda when the City Council meets in regular session today.

The meeting, which includes a session of the City Transit Trust, will begin at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of Lawton City Hall, Southwest 9th Street and C Avenue.

The public hearing is the next step in a process to create a budget to govern city expenditures for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Council members have met once on the budget and indicated they agreed with the preliminary document as presented by City Manager Bryan Long, with only minor adjustments expected.

Next year's budget includes an operating budget of $89,397,011 (versus $85 million projected for this year), in a total budget of $159,440,891 for operating, capital improvements, judgments and bond payments. It includes $4.7 million for capital outlay purchases, including $1.26 million funded via the General and Enterprise funds; and pay raises set in police and fire contracts and merit step increases for qualified general employees.

Revenues include a 1.1 percent increase in water and sewer rates, via a policy that allows the city to raise utility charges by a rate consistent with the Consumer Price Index; and 6.3 percent more in sales tax revenue, including $589,000 expected from Lawton Marketplace in west Lawton. However, finance officials still expect a significant decrease in revenues generated by utility sales for the Enterprise Fund, based, in part, of the effects of lingering drought on water sales.

The Lawton Constitution

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