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Local & Regional

City of Broken Arrow Proposes $254.1M Budget

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City of Broken Arrow
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The City of Broken Arrow proposed a $254.1 million budget for the new fiscal year.

That’s up just about 2 percent from this year’s budget. City Manager Michael Spurgeon said they’re counting on a bit more money coming into their coffers.

"A slight increase in projections for 2018 revenues. Sales tax is at 1 percent projections, very conservative. All other revenues are looking at about a little over 2.5 percent. All revenues combined, about 1.7 percent," Spurgeon said.

Priorities for the budget are fiscal soundness, support for economic development, and continued investments in public safety and infrastructure as the city keeps growing. Most of the roughly 2 percent increase will go toward water, sewer and road projects.

"It represents the capital outlay — the continued reinvestment that we’re going to have both in our general obligation bonds as well as the improvements we’re going to be making in the utility department," Spurgeon said.

Broken Arrow is trying to keep up with a $90 million capital plan for its water and sewer infrastructure. Officials anticipate rapid growth will continue over the next 15 years, requiring more spending on infrastructure and public services.

While public safety is a priority, it also presents a challenge for the city.

Police and fire use 100 percent of applicable sales taxes, and the city is set to spend an additional 8 percent of other revenues to fully fund them.

Spurgeon said Broken Arrow will push state lawmakers to allow voters to form special districts where property taxes can supplement public safety funding.

"If we could get that passed and put into the constitution, then I believe we could go to our voters and ask them to consider an increase in the millage to be able to continue to support public safety," Spurgeon said.

The budget includes funding for five new police officers voters approved in the city’s Vision sales tax renewal.