Stillwater Struggles With Revenue Shortfall

Thursday, February 4th 2010, 12:23 pm
By: News 9

By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

STILLWATER, Oklahoma -- Stillwater city leaders are looking at ways to trim their budget  as the city deals with a revenue shortfall.

Stillwater is facing a $4.5 million shortfall in revenues and that could affect things from public safety to city services.

LaDanda Frazier has gone to Stillwater's community center almost every day for 20 years.

"This place means you're talking to somebody besides the grocery store check-out lady at the grocery store," Frazier said.

The community center is where she met her husband. The couple considers it their second home and for many others who meet for a meal. After a decline in state revenue threatened to cut their program last year, they could be up against another cutback; this time hours at the center.

"At first they said we're not going to come on Fridays, so that would've been another day we'd be staying at home instead of two days," Frazier said.

"If things get really serious and revenues fall further from what we expect, yeah, we'll have to do something," Stillwater City Manager Dan Galloway said.

Galloway proposed several solutions to the $4.5 million revenue shortfall, including cutting down on fuel use.

"They're trying to save the mile to put into their police cars," Galloway said.

Training and traveling and 'possible' trimming on the hours in the community center, senior center and library are all possibilities.

"I know I spend well into the evening here and if they cut down that means I'd have to go somewhere else to find books and it wouldn't be the same resources and same free information," library visitor Amanda Fortenberry said.

The possible time change worries one high school student who commutes 45 minutes to study at the library every day. But, Galloway adds the city doesn't expect to see major changes and are taking steps to make sure that happens.

"Things that we can do to trim without taking away public service," Galloway said.

The city manager said they have not had any layoffs or furloughs in Stillwater and their budget shortfall isn't as bad compared to other places in the country.