The Tulsa City Council unanimously approved the City of Tulsa fiscal year 2016-2017 budget Thursday with substantial modifications.
"I am so excited that the Councilors and the Mayor were able to work together to make this budget process successful," said Council Chair Jeannie Cue. "With concerns about cutbacks, we were able to restore critical 911 operators while supporting economic development activity for our city."
The Council modified the Mayor's proposed budget to avoid cutting fourteen 911 call-taker positions. Councilors emphasized the importance of fulfilling commitments made during the Vision Tulsa campaign to add new capacity to our critical 911 operations.
"We made these important changes without tapping into our emergency funds, and while maintaining a very conservative approach to revenue projections and expenditures," said Council Vice-Chair Anna America.
The Council also added funding to the Mayor's proposed budget to restore staff to process building permits and licensing. This helps keep economic activity in our community moving efficiently. In the legal department, the Council added capacity to manage complex real estate transactions, to also boost economic development activity, and restored funding for a police advisor to provide training, advice and support.
The Council restored funding for the City's Main Street programs in the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood and Route 66 Redfork area. Additionally, the Council funded two staff positions at Chamberlain Park Recreation Center.
The Council also held more than $3 million of the fund balance in reserve to address potential revenue declines in the next fiscal year.
If revenues perform better than expected, the Council has identified top priorities for quarterly review. These include: restoring code enforcement capacity and mowing cycles, providing a stipend for non-sworn employees and acquiring infrared devices for firefighters.
View the full budget here.