The El Reno City Council is expected to meet in a special meeting to reconsider a proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2020.
This comes after council failed to accept the proposed budget produced by City Manager Jeremy Frazier.
After deadlocking 2-2 on a motion to accept the budget, council agreed 4-0 to reconsider the document within two weeks.
The budget is required to be in place by the end of June. The new fiscal year begins July 1.
Frazier’s proposed budget included a number of new employees, something Mayor Matt White said he was not comfortable with.
“I’m not happy with this budget,” White said. He said it’s an “almost 33 percent increase” over the previous year.
White was joined by Councilman Tim Robinson in voting not to accept the budget.
Vice Mayor J.T. Chronister and Councilwoman Tracey Rider were on the opposite side.
Councilman Bob Ballhorn was not in attendance.
White proposed looking at the budget again within two weeks. That idea received unanimous support.
After the meeting White said he would prefer keeping the budget flat. He said this would allow for budget amendments depending on how revenue comes in during the year.
“We’ve done budget amendments a number of times,” White said.
“It’s just a more conservative way of doing business instead of setting expectations high and then hoping things work out.”
The budget proposed by Frazier totaled just under $58 million. That includes revenue and debt.
El Reno is projected to bring in about $24.5 million in sales tax and utility revenue. The city has experienced solid growth in sales tax revenue, but White cautioned much of that growth is tied to the energy sector.
Oklahoma has traditionally experienced ups and downs when it comes to oil and gas activity.
“We definitely plan to tweak it,” said Frazier by email.
He said budget development “has many stages and inputs prior to the beginning of the fiscal year.
“Although the recent budget submission failed approval due to a split decision of 2 to 2, the city manager’s office and staff remain committed to the goal of crafting a budget with the mayor and council that reflects the needs of the community and the priorities of the council.”
Frazier said he looks forward to making “any and all recommended budget changes that will meet council’s goals and ultimately gain its approval.”