Municipal: Budget Must Provide Cash for Balance

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Municipal: Budget Must Provide Cash for Balance


Article from The Oklahoman describing a budget shortfall for the Municipal Building in downtown Oklahoma City.



The Oklahoman Archives


The Oklahoman




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$75,000 for Stage Added to $65,000 Deficit

A deficiency of $140,000 in the municipal auditorium building fund was revealed at city hall Thursday.

An appropriation for that amount will be necessary to equip the building after it is completed. It was held unlikey that city city officials will appropriate such a large sum in teh 1936-1937 city budget, which will go to the city council for approval in July. 

Approximately $65,000 of the deficiency was forseen when the auditorium contract was awarded, but the remaining $75,000 has developed since the building was started. 

Stage Equipment Lacking

The $75,000 represents the cost of stage equipment, which cannot be purchased unless the council approves a special appropriation in the new city budget.

The $65,000 represents the cost of air conditioning equipment, which was eliminated from building specifications when the contract was awarded.

A fund of $75,000 is on hand for equipping the building, but it was learned Thursday that this amount barely will pay for portable seats, folding chairs and office furniture.

Movies to be Delayed

The purchase of projection and sound apparatus for presentaiton of moving pictures is not being contemplated in next year's program. Wiring for sound pictures will be installed during hte construciton of the building.

Although completely equipped auditoriums in other cities have projection and sound apparatus, ther are many munipalities that do not furnish such equipment. Conventions needing it rent the apparatus. It was pointed out that such apparatus can be rented here.

Between the air conditioning and the stage equipment, it was held more likley that hte stage needs will be provided for in the new budget. No stage prsentations would be possible without it, and utility of hte building would not be impaired by the absence of air conditioning apparatus. This equipment could be added in 1937 or in subsquent years.

Hard Bargain Recalled

Contractors drove a hard bargain with the city in submitting bids on the $1,200,000 structure. All first bids were over the estimate, and the city was forced to make drastic revisions in specifications before satisfactory bids were offered.

These changes included elimination of air conditioning apparatus, shortening of the building by 30 feet and substitution of brick for stone exterior treatment on three sides of the structure. Shortening the building did not reduce its seating capacity of more than 7,000.

It also was learned Thursday that city officials have little hope of making revnue from the auditorium pay for its operatoin and maintenance. Nearly all auditoriums, if not all, throughout the country are operating at deficits. 

Operating Funds Needed

The deficitis must be made up through budget appropriations. City official sare hopeful that such appropriations here can be kept small by economical and efficient operation. It was pointed out that auditoriums showing the biggest losses are in competition with similar buildings in nearby cities

No nearby city has a strcuture capable of competing with auditorium being built here. Hence ther will not be a drastic demand for slashing lease and rental rates to meet other bids. 

"No campaigners in the bond election misrepresented the auditorium to city voters," said Orval Mosier, city manager. "The need for it as a convention magnet was stressed, but no one ever said it would pay itslef out or even pay its own operating expense."

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Oklahoman _ Friday, June 05, 1936 _ 2.jpg
Oklahoman _ Friday, June 05, 1936 _ 2.pdf




The Oklahoman, “Municipal: Budget Must Provide Cash for Balance,” Making Modern America, accessed June 24, 2018,

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