The Duncan Banner

Local News

September 8, 2013

Water rationing takes a slice of Duncan revenue

DUNCAN — Duncan city officials are pleased with water conservation efforts by residents, but the rationing is taking a hit on one of the city’s big revenue streams.

Restrictions on hours and days people can water outdoors in Duncan, which have been in effect since May, have curbed demand and helped conserve water at Waurika Lake, Lake Fuqua and Lake Humphreys.

But on the flip side, City Finance Director Patti Clift said water and sewer revenues for the first eight months of this year are down about $723,000, or 12.6 percent, over the same time frame in 2012.

“The good news is we have been watching spending very carefully so at this time cash flow isn’t any issue for us,” Clift said.

For example, some money that was penciled in for capital improvements in this year’s budget, which began Jan. 1 and expires Dec. 31, has not been spent.

That includes tens of thousands of dollars budgeted for such things as improvements at Abe Raizen Park, a splash pad at Douglass Park and various campsite improvements at area lakes.

Clift and City Manager Jim Frieda said it was possible some budgeted items still lingering will go through and be funded between now and the end of December. Another review of the budget will be done at the end of the third quarter in the coming weeks.

But the decline in water usage — and dip in revenue — is clearly evident now.

For the months of July and August this year, the amount of water the city billed for was down 29 percent from the same two months in 2012. Clift said part of that decline could have been due to rain Duncan got in July, but it also reflects the watering restrictions.

“The water rationing is working I would say,” she  said.

The city’s budget this year is about $61 million and Duncan’s electricity and water and sewer utilities are major sources of revenue the city uses to pay for many services it provides.

Utilities were projected to bring in about $31 million to the city this year. Although much of that money is used to buy and provide water, sewer and electricity, some of it is used to pay for other city services.

Clift said she tries to watch unbilled water consumption closely and Duncan does better than most communities. In July and August, less than 8 percent of the water that was used was unbilled.

The Halliburton Osage Water Line project on the city’s north side accounts for some of that unbilled consumption because new water lines had to be flushed via fire hydrants, she said.

Sales taxes, which were projected to bring in about $13 million for Duncan this year, is another major source of revenue.

Clift said it was too early to tell the extent of sales tax losses in Duncan, if any, because of a new Target store and other shopping venues that opened in Lawton this summer.

She and Frieda had sounded a cautionary note to the City Council several weeks ago about the possibility of those stores — at least temporarily — luring some shoppers and their tax dollars from Duncan.

Meanwhile, city officials already have begun working on the 2014 budget.

Frieda has asked that all department chiefs give him their capital improvement projections for 2014 by Tuesday, and spending forecasts for maintenance and operations by Oct. 1. Meetings will be held to discuss their needs.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Dollar Tree steps up fight, buys Family Dollar

    The fight for penny pinchers is intensifying.

    July 29, 2014

  • Velma Settlers’ Picnic to bring in big crowd

    Throughout its 124-year-history, the Velma Old Settlers’ Picnic has evolved from a community picnic to a large event featuring a rodeo, carnival and live music.

    July 29, 2014

  • Self-portrait Note: don't overthink when drawing yourself

    Crystal Becerra wants students to learn how to draw self-portraits in the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center’s latest class.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Voter registration for August runoff concludes Friday

    Oklahoma voters have until Friday to register to vote in the August 26 primary runoff election.

    July 29, 2014

  • Teen Theatre Teen Theatre to perform ‘Pied Piper’ Saturday

    Moving into the last few days of rehearsals, Teen Theatre participants are putting the final touches on their upcoming production of “The Pied Piper of Hamlin.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Commissioners want fed help to buy tree grinder

    Stephens county commissioners voted Monday to apply for grants to help them buy a tree grinder for the county.

    July 29, 2014

  • Duncan’s dead animals to be sold for science

    The City of Duncan has found what it believes is a positive way to handle the disposal of all the dogs and cats it euthanizes.
    It sells their carcasses to science.
    The practice, which has been going on for about five years now, not only furthers the cause of educational science, but provides some money for the cash-strapped Duncan’s general fund.

    July 27, 2014

  • 7-27 Academy.jpg Prisons expand their reach to train new officers

    Joshua Drake once was offered the chance to be a corrections officer but turned it down because he didn’t want to leave his wife and aging parents for six weeks to train hundreds of miles away in El Reno.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cable ONE starts lineup changes

      Cable One, the cable TV service provider for Duncan and Marlow, will begin a series of changes in its channel lineup on Aug. 5, the company said.
        The cable service is changing to an all digital format that will enable customers with an HDTV to see high definition programs in true high defnition.

    July 27, 2014

  • Tax-free weekend begins Friday

    It’s been seven years since Oklahoma legislators passed the tax-free holiday to keep shoppers in Oklahoma.
    Beginning at midnight Friday, the tax-free weekend returns to Oklahoma and is set to conclude at midnight Aug. 3. The Duncan Chamber of Commerce and Industry hopes Duncan retailers will benefit from the three-day event.

    July 27, 2014

Poll

Should the date for The World's Largest Garage Sale be changed from the third weekend in July to sometime in October to take advantage of cooler weather like we had this past weekend?

No. It's better in the summer cause kids are out of school.
Yes. More shoppers would come during nice fall weather.
Either time is fine.

     View Results
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating