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City Leaders Take a Look at 2012 City Projects

Wichita Falls city staff and councilors are reviewing the past year and planning for the year ahead.  Today was day one of the two-day workshop.  Two projects city leaders will keep their eyes on this coming year are projects at Wichita Falls Municipal Airport and potential changes to city sanitation routes.
    City leaders got a heads up on some big projects in the works for the coming year.
    One of those: making changes to the 50-year-old terminal at Wichita Falls Municipal Airport.
    John Burrus, Wichita Falls transportation director, says, "We looked at various financing options, we looked at FAA commitment."
    Burrus says the FAA could fund about 90 percent of the project.
    His presentation to during the city planning workshop gave updates on the progress of the project and gave city councilors an idea of the type of city funding needed to make it a success.
    "To get the council thinking about where they're going to find the balance of the funds, which we identified as about $225-thousand to $325-thousand a year for a 15 year period."
    The city sanitation department is also doing some number crunching for any future projects.
    Russell Schreiber, public works director, says, "The large capital costs that we're looking at are landfill expansion costs.  We know over the next 10-12 years we're going to need to expand the landfill and move into a different area."
    The department operates solely on the fees charged for the service, not tax dollars.
    "So to generate revenue, you have to raise your rates, or you have to figure out some way to reduce your costs," Schreiber says.
    Three cost-saving options were discussed.
    The first would limit alley and curbside trash pickup to once a week.
    The second would eliminate the dumpster service and move those customers to curbside pickup, which would be a four to five year process, and the last option would move all the alleyway customers to curbside, and then limit garbage collection to once a week.
    Councilors are expected to further discuss these items in the upcoming budget workshop session in the spring.
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