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Economic forecast is for growth, budget gap

by William Crum Published: February 24, 2014

The five-year economic forecast prepared for Oklahoma City by researchers at Oklahoma City University is for continued economic growth.

But increasing expenses lead to a predicted budget gap of $28.9 million by fiscal 2019.

Russell Evans of OCU’s Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute briefed the city council on the forecast at last week’s budget workshop.

Of 22 “indicators” that combined give a picture of the city’s financial condition, 11 are trending positive and 11 neutral, Evans said.

The executive summary of Evans’ report lists a series of challenges facing the city, including:

•Funding for street improvements.

•Long-term funding to ensure adequate drinking water.

•Operating costs for MAPS 3 projects.

•Increased police and fire costs.

•Retiree health costs.

The city is paying Evans’ team $17,500 for its research and analysis services this year.

by William Crum
OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman.
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