Oklahoma storms could drain city budget

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VILLAGE, Okla. -- Duffner Park in the Village is a mine field of mud holes. Rochelle James is doing all she can to keep her 4-year-old daughter, Danika, dry.

"It is. We just guide her around the puddles," James said.

Like many communities, the Village has seen one flooding rain after another. And the downpour has delayed several key construction projects.

Ironically -- the "Splash Pad" at Duffner Park has been halted because of too much water!

James said, "As hot as it's been, it would be nice to come somewhere close by, the splash pad for the kids to get wet. But the park will have to do."

The rain is also slowing the progress of the Uptown Grocery store near Britton and May Avenue. The "destination" store with sushi bar, pharmacy and cooking school was set to open later this summer.

The city was counting on the sales tax from the store to pad a tight city budget.

"Every month that goes by that the store is not open, it means a lot of money in terms of sales tax," City manager Bruce Stone said.

Stone estimates the Village is losing up to $70,000 a month in revenue. And this community of 9,000 needs every cent.

"It's really put everybody in a bind," Stone said.

Once the rain let's up, Village city crews will begin repairing thousands of dollars in storm damage.

"I don't want to make any predictions because I don't know how long this rain will last," Stone said.

Village city leaders are hopeful they'll be included in federal disaster assistance from FEMA. So far, that hasn't happened.


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