The Norman Transcript


April 16, 2014

General fund continues to decline as expenses exceed anticipated revenues



“Our franchise fees are really impacted by the weather,” Francisco said.

Electric and gas companies pay franchise fees. Last summer was mild, resulting in low electric franchise fees. When winter hit, some of that money was made up through gas franchise fees because of uncommonly cold temperatures.

City Manager Steve Lewis said Norman is faring better than the nation but, in general, is following the same trends.

“What we’re seeing in Norman is what we’re seeing in cities across the country,” Lewis said.

Those trends include greater dependence on local revenue, such as sales tax and services, because of cutbacks in state and federal aid.

“There’s just not as much governmental aid as there were in previous years,” Lewis said.

Other trends in city government include more contracting of services such as Norman’s new contract for vehicle parts for the city fleet.

Technology has ushered in a shift away from a manufacturing base to a more service-based economy.

As policymakers, the city council will study the budget and drill down into the details in the coming weeks. Any changes will be presented as formal amendments at a city council meeting when the council adopts the budget.

Council members will look at the city’s enterprise funds (water and wastewater utilities) budget at the study session April 29. On May 6, the council will examine the capital funds budget.

If needed, final details will be discussed at a study session June 3, and the budget will be considered for adoption June 10.

Joy Hampton



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