By Nick Woodruff
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Stillwater residents will have an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the city’s 2013-14 budget during a budget fair on Monday.
The event will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Lowry Activity Center in the Stillwater Community Center.
City employees, the city council and the mayor will be at the budget fair to answer questions. City officials will be seated at tables and be available to talk one-on-one with residents.
City manager Dan Galloway said in a press release the budget fair will be a good opportunity and a learning event.
“We know that citizens like to attend and participate in the budget process, but the vast majority of people have questions or concerns about two or three parts of the budget,” Galloway said. “Or, they want to request something in a specific department or program.”
Approximately $85.5 million of the proposed $98 million budget will go toward expenditures.
Another $10.1 million will go for capital expenditures and $2.2 million is proposed in debt services.
The budget has capital expenditures this year and it is the first time this has happen since the collapse of the national economy in 2008.
Since the budget will have approximately an 8.65 percent increase from the previous budget, the city wants to take care of and upgrade its core services, said Marcy Lamb, Stillwater’s chief financial officer. Core services include anything regarding public safety.
Stillwater employees will also receive a 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment. Lamb said the main differences in this budget and previous budgets is the 3 percent increase for employees and capital expenditures. Everything else is similar to previous budgets.
The reason residents are encouraged to attend the budget fair is because the budget is there for Stillwater residents, Lamb said.
She said Stillwater depends on residents to let city officials know what needs to be done. Sometimes areas can go under the radar and if there are problems, residents need to make their voice heard.
Lamb said a person doesn’t have to come to a city council meeting to have their voice heard. A person can email, call or meet with his or her city council representative. This goes for any city employee, too, she said. The budget fair is one those opportunities for the residents to be heard and is a good chance to ask questions, Lamb said.