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Lawton City Council responds to funding request

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Lawton, Okla._An unusual resolution to a request from a community group to the Lawton City Council Tuesday night.

The St. James Church had asked for some financial help in bringing the old Country Club Heights Elementary building up to code, which they now use.

The church's pastor said they've already put thousands into renovations in the building, which also now serves as the 'Might Community Development Resource Center'.

As a result of their changes, city code calls another fire hydrant, and they asked for a cost-sharing agreement with city in the amount of $2300.

The council was supportive of what they've done for that neighborhood, but said financially, they could not commit city dollars to it.

That's when Mayor Fred Fitch said he would send them a check on his own for $2300, which led to pledges of 500 dollars each from Councilman Doug Wells, Stanley Haywood, and the Lawton Firefighters Association. Bernita Taylor, the founder of the Might Community Center was grateful for that response.

"I'm so proud for us to stand up as Lawtonians in these high leadership positions, and say, 'We care. We care about the people of our community and we want to see them thrive, and if you're gonna help them, we're gonna help you.' And that's what I saw today," Taylor said.

In other action by the council, Mayor Fitch declared August to be Water Awareness Month.

City engineer Jerry Ihler said a conceptual study is underway looking into additional water sources, including aquifers and wells that were tapped into in the past.

They're also looking into new uses for waste water. Ihler said the study should be finished by the end of the year.

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