TULSA, Okla. — On Wednesday, June 16, The Tulsa City Council unanimously approved the City of Tulsa Fiscal Year 2021-2022 budget.
The plan includes all city funds, operations, and capital funding from Improve Our Tulsa and Vision Tulsa, according to the City of Tulsa. The general fund is projected to have $262.9 million in revenue.
Council Chair Vanessa Hall-Harper said this about the budget passing:
“This has been a challenging time for City of Tulsa residents, businesses, and employees as we move out of a pandemic and the recent ransomware attack. But for the last several months, the Council has had many conversations with Mayor Bynum and his team to ensure there are no surprises on a budget that prioritizes our collective initiatives. I am especially proud of the much-needed investment we are making in our employees after such a testing year.”
The Council and Mayor G.T. Bynum met in February for a retreat to discuss priorities for the upcoming budget year. Priorities include improving neighborhood conditions, employee compensation, community policing, continued work on Equality Indicators, and more.
“I would like to thank the Tulsa City Council for working collectively with our team over the last couple months as we developed a balanced budget during unprecedented times following a worldwide pandemic and a recent ransomware attack,” Mayor G.T Bynum said. “I look forward to the upcoming fiscal year as we make investments on the capital and operations side while continuing our mission-critical services and funding compensatory increases for our dedicated employees.”
Some of the budget highlights include:
Improve Neighborhood Conditions
The street lighting program in neighborhoods across the city will continue to be funded, with an estimated 112 new street lights expected to be installed to help increase neighborhood safety.
Public Safety and Protection
About $214 million is appropriated to the Fire and Police departments, including academies that keep pace with attrition in both departments, upgrading bunker gear for firefighters, and the first year of operating funding for the new police records management system.
The budget includes funding for satisfactory performance increases for every qualifying City employee, subject to the collective bargaining process.
The budget will expand the Community Response Team’s mobile health crisis response from three to five days per week. The budget will also allow for the hiring of a civilian Clinical Services Coordinator to help the CRT team address the root causes of the mental health crisis. This will improve our ability to effectively assist people suffering a mental health emergency and reduce their future reliance on 911 for services.
Equality Indicators Initiative
The Council has continued its work on the Equality Indicators Initiative to improve transparency, share information and find potential solutions to items highlighted in the report’s theme of justice. As a result of this work and in partnership with the administration, the budget funds the establishment of a municipal court liaison to increase customer service levels, greet visitors to Municipal Court, engage community members, help them navigate Municipal Court processes, and connect them with resources. There is also funding for a text message alert system to remind people of upcoming court appearances. This has been proven to improve the rate of court appearances – something that is important in reducing incarceration for non-violent offenses.
The Equality Indicators Report is a partnership between the City of Tulsa and the Community Service Council to produce an annual report which uses data to establish a statistical baseline for understanding inequity in Tulsa.
The approved 2021- 2022 budget begins on July 1. See more information about the budget here.
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