Bynum Presents $597M 'Rough Draft' of Improve Our Tulsa Renewal

Mar 13, 2019

Mayor G.T. Bynum offered his vision Wednesday for a $597 million renewal of the Improve Our Tulsa funding package.

It would bring in an estimated $427 million from property taxes over six years and $170 million from a half-cent sales tax over four years.

The package was developed in consultation with city councilors and based on priorities Tulsans reported in surveys. Streets were residents' No. 1 concern, and $320 million would go toward street projects.

Bynum said the city will try to move away from a focus on big reconstruction projects like in the current Improve Our Tulsa.

"It’s time for us to shift to a heavier emphasis on rehabilitation. Rehab projects require a fraction of the time that a reconstruction project takes," Bynum said.

Bynum said the streets funding includes money for sidewalks and Americans With Disabilities Act compliance.

Just under $61.8 million will go toward replacing police cruisers, snow plows and other vehicles in the city fleet that are ready to be mothballed.

"This does not address the full need that we have out there, but it does exceed what was included for vehicle replacement in Vision Tulsa, Improve Our Tulsa and Fix Our Streets combined," Bynum said.

Bynum said $30 million would go toward parks, the largest allocation for parks in a funding package in at least 20 years.

"Our city parks have deteriorated in many locations to an embarrassing state. When we’re home to the greatest park gift in American history, the City of Tulsa needs to step up our game," Bynum said.

Parks Director Anna America gave city councilors a tour and nearly $80 million list of needed repairs earlier this year.

The city will hold five town halls on the proposal beginning next month, all beginning at 6 p.m.

  • April 9: Hardesty Regional Library Frossard Auditorium, 8316 E 93rd St.
  • April 16: Lewis and Clark Elementary School Auditorium, 737 S Garnett Road
  • April 30: Booker T. Washington High School Auditorium, 1514 E Zion St.
  • May 7: Jewish Federation of Tulsa Sylvan Auditorium, 2021 E 71st St.
  • May 13: OU-Tulsa Schusterman Learning Center Perkins Auditorium, 4502 E 41st St.

Officials aim to have Improve Our Tulsa on the November 12th ballot.