With City of Tulsa general fund revenues for Fiscal Year 2020-2021 projected to be $13 million less than last year – a 5 percent decrease, non-sworn employees paid from the general fund will be on furlough for four hours each Friday afternoon May 8 through Dec. 18. If a City holiday falls on a Friday, the furlough will be on the last regular work day before it. Mayor G.T. Bynum, Auditor Cathy Carter, and their staff also will be participating in the furloughs.
The general fund comes from sales tax collections, which are expected to decrease because of low crude oil prices and employment losses due to COVID-19. The furlough will result in 10-percent weekly pay cuts and $4 million in savings. The rest of the shortfall will be made up with fund balances and the City’s Rainy Day Fund. Exceptions to the furlough will be Police, Fire, 911, and water, sewer, stormwater and refuse utility employees.
During the furlough, City Hall and some other City facilities will be closed on Friday afternoons. City Hall’s second floor customer service areas will admit the last customers at 11:45 a.m., for a noon closure of the Revenue Processing, Business Licensing, Utilities Personal Customer Service and City Clerk’s Office. City Council offices also will close at noon, with the last visitors admitted at 11:30 a.m. Calls to Utilities Customer Care will be answered from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays and calls to Tulsa 311 will be answered from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays. Municipal Court will close at noon on Fridays.
The Permit Center at City Hall is closed until further notice for in-person activities; staff will continue to issue permits through the online portal and via email application for certain permits. No services will be available from the Permit Center or Development Services Department during weekly furlough hours. When in-person service resumes, Development Services customers will be received up to 11:30 a.m. on furlough days to allow transaction completion by close of business at noon.
To provide continuity of care for the animals, the Animal Welfare Shelter at 3031 N. Erie Ave. will be open on Fridays during the furlough period but closed on Wednesdays – May 6 through Dec. 16. Animal adoptions and drop-offs are currently by appointment only due to COVID-19.
Refuse, recycling, and bulky waste service will continue uninterrupted during the Friday furloughs. The City’s mulch site at 2100 N. 145th East Ave. also will be open for its regular schedule during the furlough – 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week except for City holidays.
For safety from COVID-19, Tulsa Parks playgrounds, recreation centers, pools, splash pads and day camps will remain closed indefinitely. City-owned sport courts, golf courses, pickleball, sports fields and dog parks are open with physical distancing and sanitation precautions. City-owned sports complexes and organized sports activities with more than 10 people shall remain closed through June 1.
Mohawk Park Golf Course and Page Belcher Golf Course will remain open on Friday afternoons during the furlough.
Although the Oxley Nature Center trails are open, the Oxley visitor center is currently closed, and it will be closed on Fridays during the furlough. Redbud Valley Nature Preserve is currently closed and will be closed on Fridays during the furlough.