Lawton City Council approved TIF District

Lawton City Council approved TIF District

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - After months of meetings and hearings... the Lawton City Council has formally approved the creation of a new Tax Increment Financing District for industry.

When the TIF district was first proposed, Cache Superintendent Chad Hance said he wasn’t sure it would do anything but hurt his school district, but now, he said he can live with the decision made because version 3 puts more emphasis on education funding.

“This will give us a little bit of a buffer to kind of navigate when we do have bad years, when the funding is not as much as it is in the past. That’s what I appreciated the most," said Chad Hance, the Cache Superintendent.

The major concern Hance said he’s still worried about has to do with the length of the TIF - 25 years.

Mayor Booker said 25 years is actually the right call.

“We can’t extend it, but we can reduce it if we meet our goals. I also think we have to realize, because we haven’t properly invested in industrial development, we are behind,”said Lawton Mayor Stan Booker.

Mayor Stan Booker said this TIF will work in conjunction with the proposed CIP, and in turn, they will give Lawton a leg up in recruiting high paying jobs.

“To make us more attractive to those higher paying jobs we have been looking for... that we have been unable to recruit. It’s been 15 years since we had a win in development,” said Mayor Booker.

Hance said this final version is still not exactly what he, and other people in Cache were hoping for, but the compromise the city lets him know his voice was at least heard.

“This took a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of discussion. Fortunately, I was happy the other members along with Mayor Booker were willing to listen to my concerns, and what was wrong with the first draft," said Hance.

City Council members also approved an ordinance tonight allowing police officers to take home their cars.

It is now up to City Staff and the Police Department to implement a working plan, because the City Attorney said there could be legal issues down the line if they don’t clearly define what on-call means for officers living outside the city.

Council also unanimously overturned a traffic commission decision.

That will now allow a thin blue line to be painted between yellow lines near the new public safety facility.

The line is designed to show police officers the community supports them.

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