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City Council approves $951.9 million budget for new year

Staff report

City Council a $951,851,447 City budget for fiscal year 2012-2013. The General Fund budget that pays for most of the people, materials and supplies needed to keep the City running is $387,306,992.

“This budget continues Oklahoma City’s tradition of prudent and conservative fiscal management,” City Manager Jim Couch said. “The stronger than expected revenue growth this year allowed us to not only improve our services, but also address other important needs.”

The new budget includes 85 new positions and service enhancements in several key areas.

Public Safety – 22 new Police positions include 12 police officers and three detectives; seven civilian positions include four Criminal Investigation Specialists, one Senior Crime Scene Investigator and two Cyber Crime Investigators. Funding was also increased to continue graffiti abatement.

No additional firefighters were added, however, funding for 29 firefighter positions currently paid for by a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will expire in May 2013. This budget includes funding to keep the positions. A fire apparatus mechanic position was added to improve the down time of fire vehicles.

Streets – 12 new positions and funding for supplies and equipment to improve city streets; a new two person asphalt patching crew for pothole repair, a striping crew to maintain roadway markings and a survey aide to complete more survey work for road construction and maintenance. The budget also funds the City’s first sidewalk maintenance crew to maintain City-owned sidewalks.

Code Enforcement – Six new code inspectors; five to improve response times on complaint-based junk and debris, tall grass and weeds, yard parking and unsecured and dilapidated housing violations and one for enforcement of yard parking, garage sales and unlicensed businesses that operate on the weekend.
Parks – A new athletic and fitness coordinator to organize and conduct adult athletic and fitness programs in City recreation centers.

Transit – Four new positions to improve customer service, cleanliness at the Transit Center and improve maintenance of the busses electronic systems; a new express route during the morning and evening rush hours from northwest Oklahoma City to downtown; wait times during mid-day hours reduced in half on Routes 3, 10, 13 and 22. New automatic vehicle location technology will provide real time bus arrival information and automated stop announcements.

The new positions bring City staffing to 4,511. This represents an increase of 1.9 percent over the current year.

The budget takes effect July 1.

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