The Mustang News prides itself on delivering the most comprehensive news coverage available for residents.

for the week of January 27-February 3


City's plan for easing growing pains on hold


blue01_next.gifBy Fawn Porter/The Mustang News


An account set up by City Council members in November to pay for future infrastructure costs is still waiting for the first dollar to be deposited.

Councilman Darrell Noblitt proposed at the Nov. 16 Mustang City Council meeting to earmark 10 percent of all sales tax receipts over $500,000 for the improvement of the city’s infrastructure, including streets and water lines.

Noblitt said this was an opportunity to start funding an account for the future.

So far, only one month in two years has seen revenues over $500,000. That month was September 2004, which saw sales tax revenues climb to $503,752, but that month came before the account was established. City Manager David Cockrell said the fund was established in anticipation of Mustang’s growth.

“This decision wasn’t intended to do anything in the very short run,” Cockrell said. “But to take a look at the future.”

Noblitt said the fund is not for capital needs, but for repairs and maintenance.

“As revenue comes up, we are to be mindful of trying to set (money) aside … to not be surprised by repair needs,” he said.

When Super Wal-Mart came to Mustang, the community saw a dramatic spike in sales tax revenues, a trend Cockrell said should continue as more businesses and residents come to town.

He said this year city officials have issued more commercial permits than any other point in Mustang’s history, and have issued more residential permits than any other time in the past 20 years.

The money is placed into the Mustang Improvement Authority capital improvement account, Cockrell said. The fund does not have any direct affect on the city’s budget.

For fiscal year 2002-2003, Mustang businesses generated $3,175,873 in sales tax receipts. For 2003-2004, the city brought in $4,927,584 in revenue. Halfway into Fiscal Year  2004-2005, Mustang’s sales tax receipts show a revenue of $3,221,560, Finance Director Brenda Wright said.

With the exception of September this fiscal year, each month’s receipts show an average of about $425,000 to $450,000 in sales tax revenue.


Student numbers still rising


blue01_next.gifBy Carolyn Cole/The Mustang News


Mustang Schools student population is growing officials said this week, reporting an increase of 103 students since school began in August.

Superintendent Karl Springer said 7,522 students attended class in the district Monday, compared to 7,419 students at the start of the school year.

“Usually at this time of year we start to go the other way,” he said, “but we are continuing to grow.”

On Monday the district had 3,335 elementary students, compared to 3,295 on Aug. 31. There are 1,688 middle schoolers in attendance, compared to 1,653 earlier this year and 2,206 high school students, compared to 2,205 counted  at the end of August. The prekindergarten program is serving 293 students.

Mustang Creek Elementary is reporting 714 students; Mustang Elementary has 629 students; Lakehoma Elementary has 784 students; Mustang Trails Elementary has 617 students; and Mustang Valley Elementary has 591 students.

Mustang North Middle School reported 791 students while Mustang Middle School has 897 students. Mustang Mid-High has 613 ninth graders and Mustang High School has 1,593 students.

Springer said the district is keeping a close watch on its growth to anticipate the need.

“We will need to purchase some pre-fabricated buildings and really look at where children are moving in our district so we have it down before school starts this year and the next,” he said, adding district officials are working with the city of Mustang on portable buildings additions.

The district’s voters turned down bond issues in December to finance construction of a new elementary school on South Czech Hall Road between state Highway 152 and SW 89th Street. School board members have looked at options for a new bond election. The district had intended to open the building in August 2006, but because the bond issues failed, the earliest the school could open is August 2007. Springer said if the student population continues growing, that school could open at capacity.
















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