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Duncan Planning Capital Improvement Projects

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DUNCAN, Okla._The city of Duncan is crunching the numbers for next year's budget, and partly because of the drought, they're dealing with a bit of a shortfall. 

The 2014 spending budget for Duncan is just over 57 million dollars but their projected revenue is about three million dollars less.  So the city will tap into its reserves in order to cover the gap and to fund projects that have taken a back burner in the past years.

Since 2010, Duncan's budgetary reserve has gone from less than two million dollars to over nine million. And with hopes of bringing new businesses and residents to town and this year the city wants to use some of that money to follow through on some of those long-awaited and needed improvements.

City manager Jim Frieda says this year's budget did take a hit this year. With serious water restrictions in the region, Duncan came up about two million dollars short.

"That's something we had to take a look at because obviously we utilize that money as other utilities," said Frieda

In all, there's about a three-point-five million dollar difference between anticipated revenues and what the budget currently allows for but these numbers aren't cause for alarm. Frieda says projects included in that difference will use that reserve money and that's exactly what it's there for.

 "We've been very conservative for the past four years. We've been very cautious with regard to expenditures. We've tried to keep expenditures down," said Frieda.

He says some of the extra projects are ones promised to residents in the past.

After the pool closed three years ago, Douglass Park will finally get a much-needed upgrade with a brand new splash pad. Street improvements will also taking a priority this year. The city is allowing one point four million dollars for the project in the upcoming budget. But what else is going up in Duncan to make quality of life better?

Installation of a new transmission line here at 27th and Bois D'Arc. The new line will keep Duncan running if the main line from Chickasha goes down. Building costs with equipment is close to four hundred and fifty thousand dollars."

"We have to have good roads, good infrastructure. People look at that when they want to come in and do business in your community," said Frieda

And that's why they say those improvements are included sooner than later.

"We're going to progress, we're going to go on, and we're never going to fall back. We think the budget is where it should be, and we think the council feels it's acceptable also," said Frieda.

Frieda says the city council will discuss the budget publicly more time before they vote on it. That meeting will be held next Monday at 6 p.m. in the city council chambers at the police department complex.

The public is invited to attend.

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