News

City Council Approves FY18 Budget

 

The Tulsa City Council voted unanimously to approve the City of Tulsa Fiscal Year 2017-2018 Budget on Wednesday.

The total budget is $826.8 million, which includes all city funds, operations and capital funding from Improve Our Tulsa and Vision Tulsa. The general fund, which funds most core services and operations, accounts for $269.4 million of the total.

"This has been a very positive, constructive process because of the strong relationship between the Mayor and the Council and the commitment to communication on both sides," Council Chair Anna America said.

The budget was approved after months of small budget meetings where Councilors and Mayor G.T. Bynum discussed goals and priorities. In a spirit of cooperation that is unprecedented, City leaders worked on budget solutions in a give-and-take manner to address all issues and concerns. Leaders built on the collaborative relationship established during Mayor Bynum's eight years of service on the Council to create a budget that reflects a vision for a better Tulsa.

"Mayor Bynum obviously went into his position with a good understanding of the Council's priorities, and it's been an ongoing conversation all along so there have been no surprises, and any concerns were addressed as soon as they came up," Councilor America said.

"I'm particularly proud that even though it's basically a flat budget as far as the general fund, we are maintaining all core service levels and adding innovative programs like a 'Better Way' and the Public Inebriate Alternative, making sure we take care of basics like mowing city property and making a much-needed investment in our employees."

The City expects a flat growth rate in the general fund for the upcoming fiscal year, but priority investments for citizens will be possible due to Vision Tulsa program funding, modest adjustments in general fund revenue projections, department growth restrictions and revenue from Amazon internet sales.

The 2017-2018 Fiscal Year will begin July 1.

Budget highlights:

  • Largest one-year infusion of police officers in the history of the City of Tulsa. Three academies of 30 recruits each will allow 90 new officers to be hired to enhance community policing strategies in Tulsa.
  • Adds three mowing cycles in the city of Tulsa for a total of eight cycles, representing a 77 percent increase in the level of mowing.
  • Funds the operation of a Public Inebriate Alternative, a substance abuse alternative program that will free up valuable police manpower, decrease municipal courts' caseload and jail intake, and help citizens with substance abuse.
  • Implements a "Better Way" Program, an innovative solution to panhandling that partners with local organizations to help place individuals in beautification work programs that help citizens get back on their feet.
  • Replaces fire apparatuses and safety equipment that is over a decade old and will fund a fire academy of 35 firefighters with the possibility of adding an additional 60 firefighters if approved for the SAFER grant.
  • Funds a satisfactory performance increase for all qualified City employees.
  • Adds Sunday bus service for the first time in Tulsa Transit's history.
  • Constructs a variety of new playgrounds throughout the Tulsa Parks system.
  • Funds Vision Tulsa economic development projects and major street construction projects with added staffing in street maintenance and traffic engineering.

Utilities:

The Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority (TMUA), the entity responsible for water and sewer, will implement annual rate adjustments based on a five-year asset management plan to keep up with the City's aging underground facilities that requires investment now to ensure the same quality and reliable water for generations to come. The water rate increase was initially projected at 6 percent, but will stay at 4 percent this fiscal year. Rates will be effective October 1, 2017.

  • Water - 4 percent increase
  • Sewer - 9 percent increase
  • Stormwater - 9 percent increase

Changes to the Mayor's proposed budget based on subsequent discussions with the Council:

FY18 Technical changes

1.)       Additional funding for Community Intervention Center (CIC)

 

$100,000

2.)       Chamberlin Park staffing - Already funded

-

3.)       Crime Prevention Network/Neighborhood Watch

$50,000

4.)       OpenGov. - Cloud Solution - Other Services

$80,000

 

$230,000

FY18 Council One- time Items - Use of Unassigned Fund Balance

1.)       Demolish 3 pools at $62k each

 

 

$186,000

2.)       Emerald Ash Borer treatment of City-owned Ash Trees

$125,000

3.)       A Better Way Program - Add full year funding

$25,000

 

$336,000