LAWTON, OK (TNN) - Proposed changes to the new Public Safety Facility caused a debate at the Lawton City Council meeting on Tuesday night. Members were asked to add money to the contingency fund which puts money to the side for unforeseen expenses. Some of the changes would include taking out floor logos, not adding a sidewalk, that would cost nearly $40,000, around the retention pond and deleting railing for an upstairs patio.
"I don't like it. We're spending millions of dollars on a building, and you're cutting out the stuff that makes it nice, that makes it presentable to the community," Councilman Jay Burk said. "If we just wanted to build a metal building, then we should've just built a metal building."
Councilman Burk wasn't the only council member unhappy about the proposed changes. Councilman Caleb Davis, who's been against the high costs for the facility from the beginning, agreed with Councilman Burk.
"This is not how you save cost,” Councilman Davis said. “The finished product is what we want to look beautiful, we want it to be useable, and we want it to make a good impression."
“Building stuff just because we can, that doesn’t accomplish what we want, is not making Lawton a better place,” Councilman Randy Warren said.
While they weren't happy with some of the proposals, they agreed with other changes like saving nearly 100-thousand dollars by not doing the interior on the side building and not getting certification on millwork.
Councilman Davis said he feels that adding money to the contingency fund is the company's way of avoiding going to the council.
"The change orders have to come before the council to be approved,” he said. “If this money goes into the contingency fund, then we'll never see it. The city staff pays for that, and it never comes before council."
George Hennessee, the city engineer, said these are items that they could look at adding later if the funds are available, but the council didn't agree.
"I make a motion that we deny all of it and come back with a better plan if you want to come back with a better plan, but this is one that I want," Councilman Burk said.
Councilman Burk’s motion passed seven to one.