Coronavirus stalls Lawton Propel project

Coronavirus stalls Lawton Propel project
The 2020 City Improvement Project is a 14-year plan that puts millions of dollars of funding into focused areas, such as destroying abandoned, damaged, or destroyed buildings and homes; or parks and rec. (Source: KSWO)

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) -

Lawtonians voted on the propel city project last fall, but the coronavirus pandemic slowed down progress on planning, according to city officials. The 2020 City Improvement Project is a 14-year plan that puts millions of dollars of funding into focused areas, such as destroying abandoned, damaged, or destroyed buildings and homes; or parks and rec. 

”The parks master plan is the key though. Without a plan, you don’t have a roadmap as to where you’re going. The parks’ master plan is going to provide us with a guide for future development and to be fiscally responsible with the taxpayer’s money,” said City of Lawton parks and grounds superintendent Keith Neitzke.

After the coronavirus pandemic hit, the city had issues planning what this C-I-P could become. 

”We really couldn’t get into the planning details as much as we want to do,” said Michael Cleghorn, Lawton City Manager. “We’ve had two meetings in the past month or discussing the CFP Plan and what that looks like.”

Cleghorn says he plans to present a preliminary plan to the city council on August 11th, but coronavirus hasn’t just affected the planning process.

”Cost of materials has been unpredictable or at least fluctuated during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Cleghorn. “As there are personnel available to deliver goods or not to deliver goods that affects the cost of delivery. Therefore, it makes predictability of a project less certain than it did before. So as we go through these projects, we have to try to account for those types of things.”

The city says that this process is gradual, but officials are optimistic about the future of the 2020 CIP.

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