The week in review, and the week ahead, in Oklahoma City civic affairs.
Sales tax collections
climb 2.3 percent in
latest report period
Sales tax collections grew in the latest reporting period, up 2.3 percent over the same month a year ago but short of Oklahoma City’s target of 3.9 percent for the month. Combined with July’s strong results, “that puts us right on target through the first two months of the fiscal year,” said Doug Dowler, the city’s budget director. The check from the Oklahoma Tax Commission for the city’s general fund was $18.3 million. Sales taxes are the biggest single revenue source for the general fund, which covers day-to-day expenses for services including police and fire protection. The 2014-15 general fund totals about $415 million.
A refresher for emergency managers
An Oklahoma City contingent planned to spend this week in Emmitsburg, Md., at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Management Institute. The 70-member group will participate in a role-playing exercise, responding to a disaster scenario designed to unfold over several days. City spokeswoman Kristy Yager said the week-long session includes classroom instruction, workshops and discussion of responses to the mock disaster as it develops. Departments including the city manager’s office, police and fire, public works, utilities and finance will be represented, along with community groups such as the Red Cross and United Way, Yager said. Oklahoma City’s contingent includes Councilmen David Greenwell (Ward 5) and Pat Ryan (Ward 8). The city pays for meals at the Institute’s dining hall; other costs are covered by the federal government, Yager said.
Whitewater center options to be discussed
Advisory groups are to discuss options for the MAPS 3 whitewater center in the coming week. Construction bids came in above estimates when they were opened last month. The project will be discussed in special meetings of the MAPS 3 river advisory panel and the MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory Board, said David Todd, the MAPS 3 project manager. The city had expected total costs of under $24 million, but the lowest bid was $37 million. Recommendations eventually will go before the city council. The whitewater center is supposed to be finished by late 2015 or early 2016. It will be on the Oklahoma River downstream from the boathouses.
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