Lawton City Council to vote on Public Safety Facility cost saving committee

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - One City Council member is making one last effort to cut costs on the new Public Safety Facility. Councilman Caleb Davis is proposing to stop all building permits and form a committee to discuss these possible cost reducing efforts. The goal is to save money, but keep the project on schedule. Davis said this month there could be change or the project will go on as planned.

The new Public Safety Facility will be complete with a new police station, jail and fire station. But now it's still under construction. But Davis wants a chance to take a look at those the facility costs.

"If it had come in at budget there really wouldn't be an issue at this point," Davis said.

Davis has been speaking out on the facility's budget since he stepped into office last year.

Back in August, the council awarded Flintco the $33.7 million contract to build the facility. At the same time they moved almost $5 million from other 2015 Sales Tax Extension projects. According to the city manager's office, that's because the contract came in $3 million over budget and additional fixture, furnishings and equipment costs weren't included in the contract.

"I fought it as hard as I could before it passed, and I fought it that night," Davis said.

So now Davis is taking the fight into the new year.

If approved tomorrow night by the council, a committee will meet to discuss cost saving measures. And Davis has a few in mind.

"We're kind of in the last hour here to save millions of dollars for the citizens," Davis said. "We'll see if we can move the fire station. But we wouldn't be downsizing. We would be downsizing the jail and moving the fire station if we can do that."

Instead of the jail housing 120 inmates, he wants that number cut to 20. And have contracts with surrounding county jails to place those inmates. He wants Fire Station One to stay at Central Fire, and use the money citizens voted on to renovate the station.

Davis said he has hope for his proposal.

"If they vote it down then that's it. Then we're carrying on," Davis said. "This is the last effort to try to help bring this within budget for the citizens so I hope that it passes."

Davis said if the item does pass they will have the committee meeting sometime this week. Then that committee's recommendations will be brought in front of the council at a special meeting next Tuesday. We will keep you updated on the vote.

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