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Council Approves Draft Capital Improvement Package

The City Council approved a draft capital improvements projects list Thursday. After months of work, discussion and presentations from city departments, the package totals just under $920 million.

This new infrastructure funding package renews the 2006 Third Penny and the 2008 Fix Our Streets programs, which expires in 2014. The capital improvements package would not raise taxes, but extend these existing funding sources.

"The City Council set out last year to undergo a very thorough and public process to develop a draft proposal for the renewal of the Fix Our Streets/Third Penny capital improvement programs. The draft unanimously approved by the Council represents the culmination of that process," Councilor G.T. Bynum, who chaired the Council's Capital Improvements Task Force, said.

Street and transportation improvements make up 71 percent of the package at about $654 million. This includes $470 million for rehabilitation of pavement conditions, $88 million for widening streets, such as Yale Avenue in south Tulsa and Riverside Drive, and for the continuation of the Gilcrease Expressway. It also provides $28 million for bridge improvements and $12 million for traffic engineering.

Transit also gets a boost with $15 million to replace aging vehicles and $15 million for the Peoria Avenue Rapid Bus Transit project.

The remaining 29 percent of funds would go to projects spanning a wide range of city departments and public agencies.

The Police Department would receive about $31 million, mostly for replacing critical public safety equipment. The Fire Department would receive about $35 million, which includes $17 million for apparatus replacement. Also, $6.5 million is slated to go toward a law enforcement record management system.

New construction and upgrades to the city's parks and recreation facilities totals $35 million. This includes reconstruction of the city's five pools at Berry, Lacy, McClure, Reed and Whiteside parks.

The package sets aside $3.5 million for needed improvements to the Animal Shelter and $11.75 million for exhibits at the Tulsa Zoo.

Cultural facilities would get a boost with improvements to the Performing Arts Center at $5.5 million and to the Gilcrease Museum at $9 million. And $10 million would be leveraged with other public and private funds to implement the Tulsa City-County Library's Central Library project.

"This proposal contains the largest investment in our streets in Tulsa history, and provides for the basic maintenance of public facilities that is required if we are to be good stewards of the public dollar," Bynum said.

To view the adopted list of capital improvement projects, click here (Capital Improvement Program ADOPTED DRAFT 7-11-13)


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