The Norman Transcript

Government

June 12, 2013

City budget slashed further

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Last-minute cuts to the proposed FY 2014 budget also drew debate.

City staff brought forward those budget cuts in response to Castleberry’s request. A certified public accountant, Castleberry voiced strong concerns about the continued use of the general fund to balance the budget for the past several years.

City Manager Steve Lewis said the additional cuts should not affect essential services but other revenue sources are needed to boost the general fund in the long term.

Castleberry said if more money comes in, these items could be reinstated.

“I think you have to live within your means,” Castleberry said.

The items cut Tuesday night will be reviewed in September. Some services that will be reduced include asphalt for street improvements, contracted street sweeping and professional training for city staff.

In some cases, these additional cuts may be appropriate. Public Works Director Shawn O’Leary said a $30,000 cut to the electricity allowance for street lights will be offset by electric savings created by the city’s installation of LED lights.

The budget cut package proposed trimming $1,200 from money that would normally go to the Firehouse Arts Center. Other cuts included Sooner Theatre, tree maintenance, youth baseball and other parks and recreation accounts.

In most cases, these cuts represent only a portion of funding, but in 20 percent of the line items, those items will be cut completely.

Castleberry said he will donate his $100 monthly council salary to Sooner Theatre and the Firehouse to make up the difference.

“Our total revenue has gone up every year,” Castleberry said, citing figures through the recession years. All revenue is not sales tax. Unfortunately, spending has increased even more than revenue, he said.

“We started with $12 million in our savings pot,” Castleberry said. “Now it’s down to $3 (million).”

The council approved cutting $478,829 in general fund services and maintenance and supply and materials categories in an 8-1 vote, with Jungman dissenting.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Government
  • Water Reclamation Wastewater upgrade under way

    Norman’s $63 million water reclamation facility upgrade is under way. Once known as a sewer plant, the facility’s moniker reflects the current trend in water reuse and treatment that’s crossing the United States....

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • New natural gas plant coming to south central area

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A new plant projected to process 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day is coming to the Grady/Stephens county area....

    August 1, 2014

  • Shelter construction ongoing; residents voice concerns

    A regular quarterly meeting of the Animal Shelter Oversight Board prompted Norman residents to speak up about more than just a photo release issue Monday night involving Friends of the Animals of Norman volunteers and the city of Norman. ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Voter registration deadline is Friday

    Friday is the last day to apply for voter registration to be eligible to vote in the Aug. 26 Runoff Primary Election. Races include federal, state and county offices, but for Cleveland County voters, the field is limited....

    July 30, 2014

  • Breast Care Center will relocate to HealthPlex

    The Norman Regional Health System will move its Breast Care Center to the HealthPlex campus, making it more accessible for patients, hospital officials said Monday. At its monthly board meeting, the Norman Regional Hospital Authority ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Fracking Operation Norman library to host community dialogue about fracking

    Are Oklahoma oil companies an oligarchy that is controlling state policy? Is fracking safe? These and other topics will be the subject of an upcoming Fracking Forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Norman Public Library’s Lowry Room, 225 ...

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • City manager calls Moore strong while addressing Chamber

    MOORE — Moore’s City Manager Steve Eddy could have quoted Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Eddy, with help from Mayor Glenn Lewis, reported on Tuesday on the State of the City to the Moore Chamber of ...

    July 23, 2014

  • walmart City leaders say ‘yes’ to Wal-Mart supercenter postponement

    Despite complaints that a postponement request was in the eleventh hour, a zoning change in east Norman was put on hold Tuesday night. The proposal to rezone property at Cedar Lane Road between 24th Avenue Southeast and Highway 77 ...

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014