The Woodward News

Local News

June 5, 2013

City calls for sales tax vote

(Continued)

Woodward, Okla. — BUDGET PASSED

In other financial matters Monday night, city commissioners approved an almost $43.2 million budget for Fiscal Year 2014.

This budget includes approximately $12.6 million for personnel services; $1.8 million for material and supplies; $5.5 million for other services and charges; $8.9 million for capitol outlay; $5.2 million for operating transfers; $2.7 million for debt service; $2.5 million for specific fund reserves, and $4 million for emergency reserves. (Numbers are rounded to the nearest tenth of a million.)

During a budget workshop held last week, Haines said that one of the big goals of this year's budget was to help meet staffing needs, which is why 5 additional staff positions have been included in the budget.  These positions include  an assistant to the E911 coordinator in the emergency dispatch center, a Geographic (Geospatial) Information Systems (GIS) operator in code enforcement, a heavy equipment operator in the street department, and 2 Class C maintenance workers in the water department.

UPDATE ON PLANNING PROCESS

In other business Monday night, city commissioners received a presentation from Brannyn McDougal, representing Gray Planning, regarding the city's comprehensive urban planning process.

McDougal explained the process is comprehensive because "while our focus will be on land use," Gray Planning will also be looking at housing, community facilities and services, infrastructure, transportation, parks and recreation, natural and cultural resources and the local economy as they develop a plan for Woodward's future.

McDougal also provided the commissioners with a general overview of the initial steps in the comprehensive planning process.  She said the process kicked off last week with "some of the behind the scenes work," such as gathering demographic information for analysis.

"And this week we have a very full week of meetings," she said, where the McDougal team will start conversations with the many different groups that will be involved in the planning process.

She said these meetings will be with a project team, which is an internal meeting with city staff; a steering committee, which is the "citizen advisory group that will help shape the vision and goals of the plan;" and a public official roundtable, which will include elected and appointed officials from throughout the community.

"Later this summer, we'll also hold community town hall meetings and will be conducting a community-wide survey," McDougal said.  "We're working to get as much community feedback as we can throughout the process."

To help involve the public and keep them informed about the process, she said Gray Planning will be launching a website as soon as possible with more information about the project, which has been named "Envision Woodward."

She said work is still being done on the website to make sure that all the links are working correctly, but expects the website will be live "sometime this week, hopefully."

Once it is up and running, she said the website can be found at EnvisionWoodward.com.  "We will also have a Facebook page as well," McDougal said.

Riffel said that representatives from Gray Planning would be coming back before the city commission several times over the next few months to provide ongoing updates as the planning process continues.

For example, McDougal said she expects to return in a few weeks to present the commissioners with the results of the "baseline analysis."

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