Some taxpayers not pleased with response to recent storm

TULSA - For some, getting around downtown Tulsa is an uphill battle.

"The downtown roads are slushy and snow packed," said Eddie Baugher, a motorist.

"They haven't been plowed at all," said Brian Bean, a motorist.

It's something some taxpayers say the city should be doing, especially after the lessons learned from the blizzard of 2011.

Back then there was a lot more snow and driving was impossible. So the city made some changes to its policy, starting with hiring contractors to help clear roads.

The city also made the hiring process easier, by cutting out the red tape.

Fast-forward to today and no contractors were hired for any winter storm we've had since.

In fact, contractors weren't hired for the summer wind storm that took two months to remove all of the debris.

PHOTO GALLERY (July 2013): Storm damage throughout Green Country

With the red tape gone, the 2NEWS Investigators asked why the city isn't hiring contractors.

"We have exceed our budgeted overtime," said Mayor Dewey Bartlett, (R)-Tulsa.

The mayor says the city is over budget by at least $100,000, if not more.    

"It does mean we will have to take that budgeted money from elsewhere," said Bartlett.

Some taxpayers say city leaders should've budgeted more.

"It always boils down to money I'm sure, but where's the money that we're paying in? It's got to be going somewhere and times like this they need to prepare for it," said Bean.

When we asked what amount of snow it takes for the city to hire help, the city didn't give specifics but did say the only time it's hired contractors was during the blizzard of 2011.

Hiring those contractors cost $1 million.

As for the streets downtown, a city spokesperson said clearing main roads was the focus on Monday, and downtown streets were not a top priority.

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