Lawton utility rate increase, trash fee tabled

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - The Lawton utility rate increase and trash fee put on hold for now. Tuesday night's council, Lawton Water Authority, and City Transit Trust meetings were lean with Keith Jackson, Caleb Davis and Jay Burk absent.

Because of that the vote on a 2.7 percent increase in utilities and a $1 fee for trash collection was tabled. The increases are built into next year's budget, but need formal approval through council first.

What was approved, Councilmember Randy Warren's proposal to clear up the rules for committees.

"I look at it as basically a clean up deal. So that all of our committees work the same way," Warren said.

Now, future committees will operate under the Open Meetings Act and there are stricter rules for appointing a substitute committee member.

An agreement between the city, the Chamber of Commerce and the Lawton Economic Development Corporation was tabled. Councilmember Dwight Tanner wanted Hotel/Motel Tax funds to go to the Corporation rather then the Chamber in the hope that it would bring more jobs. The tax brings in up to $1.2 million dollars each year, and about 70 percent of that is allocated to the Chamber.

After some discussion, Mayor Fred Fitch suggested to table the issue into until all council members are present to vote.

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