Edmond City Council
Members of the Edmond City Council discuss the 2022-23 fiscal year budget during a meeting Monday, June 13, 2022. (Joe Tomlinson)

The Edmond City Council discussed and adopted the fiscal year 2022-23 budget during Monday’s meeting, setting the city’s operating budget for the year at $397,341,583. The city is projecting to bring in a total revenue of $309,873,622, and, including the city’s reserve funds, the total projected holdings for the year comes to $685,490,184.

These numbers mark a decrease from the projected $312,662,418 in total revenue that the city expected to collect during the current 2021-22 fiscal year, as well as an increase from $393,393,775 in direct costs for the year. As the end of the fiscal year, on June 30, draws close, however, the city is on track to bring in $304,918,287, almost $8 million less than projected.

Ward 2 Councilman Josh Moore believes city officials will have to get “creative” in order to complete slated capital investment projects, considering inflation levels and the rising costs of construction and fuel. Moore even raised the prospect of dropping a project entirely from the city’s docket in order to shore up funds for higher-priority projects.

“With rising costs, we have to tighten our belt,” Moore said. “Right now, we only have so many options, and, like we said tonight, if we have to get creative and we need to have a bigger discussion about where every dollar is at, we’re willing and prepared to have that so we can truly fulfill the needs that we’re being asked to fulfill.”

The budget is based on a 3 percent projected growth in sales tax revenue, a 5 percent projected growth in use tax revenue and a 1 percent projected growth in other sources of revenue compared to the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Edmond City Manager Scot Rigby said the decrease in projected revenue and growing direct costs are “concerning,” but the situation is not dire.

“We’re not in crisis mode, but forecasting and seeing what we’re seeing in growing costs, we need to be more cognizant of what our limitations are,” Rigby said.

As outlined in a May 18 city budget meeting, the projected direct costs for fiscal year 2022-23 originally totaled $379,538,624. However, some city projects that were slated to begin construction in fiscal year 2021-22 — such as renovations at Stephenson Park, the A.C. Caplinger baseball fields and the Service Blake Soccer Complex — are now rolling into the next fiscal year, increasing the 2022-23 fiscal year’s direct costs by more than $17 million. Other factors, such as fuel costs, also factor into the increase.

“These are projects we had hoped to start and encumber this year, but for design and all these number of things, we’re not going to be able to cover those funds, so we’ll have to move it to the next budget season,” Rigby said.

During that May 18 budget meeting, Rigby pointed out that Edmond’s projected revenue totals did not cover its operating budget, and the difference would have to be made up with reserve funds or transfers from other funds. Even considering the city’s ample reserve funds, Mayor Darrell Davis said that model is not viable long term.

“Even though there’s no cliff, it’s not sustainable,” Davis said.

City of Edmond departmental budget highlights for FY 2022-23

Fire and police department budgets

  • Fire department: $34,441,560 ($24,999,008 in FY 2021-22)
  • Police department: $26,881,610 ($24,650,754 in FY 2021-22)

Public Works Authority department budgets

  • Electric fund: $94,934,956 ($92,094,494 in FY 2021-22)
  • Water fund: $45,920,018 ($35,834,010 in FY 2021-22)
  • Wastewater: $23,232,201 ($20,890,870 in FY 2021-22)
  • Solid waste: $7,661,087 ($7,447,758 in FY 2021-22)
  • Drainage: $3,201,840 ($2,644,898 in FY 2021-22)
  • Arcadia Lake: $1,507,018 ($1,467,921 in FY 2021-22)

Other enterprise funds

  • Citylink: $2,521,159 (Budget was $2,093,553 in FY 2021-22)
  • Kickingbird golf course: $2,424,433 (Budget was $1,190,692 in FY 2021-22)
  • Community block development grants: $2,408,712
  • EMSA: $686,020

All four Edmond wards affected by newly drawn boundaries

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Met with two options to choose from during Monday’s meeting, Edmond City Council selected a redistricting map proposal to set the ward boundaries to be used over the next decade. (Option #2, on the final page of the PDF above).

The selected map moves part of the southwestern portion of the city, below Edmond Road, into Ward 3 from Ward 4. However, a nook in the boundary is placed in a way that splits a neighborhood at Sante Fe and Edmond between Ward 3 and Ward 4, which council members recognized they would need to clarify to residents of that area. This change makes Ward 3 the largest in the city, population-wise.

Ward 3 councilwoman Christin Mugg said she preferred the selected map because it balanced the wards’ populations more equally.

The map also moves part of the boundary between Ward 1 and Ward 2 one mile east, adding about 4,000 residents to Ward 1.

Federal Census data from 2020 put Edmond’s population at 94,608, and the map was drawn with the goal of giving the wards even numbers of residents, with a goal of 23,607 each, Casey Moore, Edmond’s director of management services, said.

“What we try to do is get to that number as close as possible, moving as little as possible,” he said.

The proposed boundaries bring Wards 1 and 2 close to the goal population, but Ward 3 exceeds the number by approximately 1,800 and Ward 4 falls about 1,500 short.

Based on growth patterns and the East Edmond 2050 plan the populations of Ward 3 and Ward 4 are projected to even out in the coming years.

“What we know based upon future planning and growth pattern, Ward 4 is going to grow faster than Ward 3,” Casey Moore said.

After 30 days of public comment on the prospective boundaries, the City Council will vote to finalize the boundaries. The next council meeting that takes place after 30 days will be July 25.

Rezoning request made for OYO hotel to become multifamily unit.

The OYO Hotel at 1300 E. Ayers St. no longer has anyone living in it, according to attorney Todd McKinnis, who represents the hotel. The hotel was deemed a public nuisance back in February, owing to health and safety code violations.

“Its marked with no-trespassing signs, and the only activity there is activity during the day by our contractors that are addressing items that have been identified by us internally or by the city staff,” McKinnis said.

McKinnis added that a zoning application is working through the planning department to rezone the property as a multifamily unit.

“Right now the property is zoned as a hotel use exclusively. So we made an application to change that to a multifamily use, which it was prior to a hotel.”

McKinnis added that the application would still allow the property to keep the hotel use, but would also add the multifamily use. McKinnis said the hotel’s owners have a 60-day window to bring that zoning request before City Council.