Mayor G.T. Bynum presented the Tulsa City Council a draft proposal of the renewal of Improve Our Tulsa, which serves as the City’s basic streets and infrastructure program.
Earlier this year, Mayor Bynum and the Tulsa City Council held five public meetings to gain feedback from residents regarding the Improve Our Tulsa renewal. Following the presentation today, the Tulsa City Council and the Mayor’s Office will have the opportunity to refine the draft proposal in the coming weeks before more public meetings are slated this summer to gain resident feedback.
“Because of voter support for Improve Our Tulsa in 2013, we’ve made critical progress in rehabilitating our roads after decades of neglect, but there is much more work to do,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “In order to continue making progress, we need to renew this program that funds not just our basic street and infrastructure work, but also police cars, fire trucks, our parks, and so much more.”
Based on public response received in the five citywide town hall meetings, the draft proposal for the Improve Our Tulsa renewal would run six and half years and total $639 million.
The current draft has most of the funding dedicated to street maintenance and transportation costs, including sidewalks and bridge maintenance, which makes up 70 percent of the package. The remaining amount is divided into categories that will be used to fund public facility repairs, parks improvements, public safety and street vehicle replacements and create a standing rainy-day fund allocation, among other capital items.
Items that have been added since the town hall meetings include additional funding for bridges, matching funds for federal and other transportation grants, capital resources for the Route 66 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Route, Arena District Master Plan implementation, and additional funds to adequately fund fire department apparatus replacement. Community development project funds were also added for each council district, which can be used for economic development infrastructure needs, neighborhood stabilization projects or other projects that meet certain criteria and follow the City’s comprehensive plan (read the draft proposal).
Tulsa voters first approved Improve Our Tulsa in 2013, which totaled $918.7 million. Tulsa residents now have the opportunity to vote for the renewal of Improve Our Tulsa on Nov. 12 this year. For more information about Improve Our Tulsa or to follow current construction progress, visit: www.improveourtulsa.com