Tulsa's 2017-2018 Budget To Add More Police, Firefighters
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Tulsa City Council unanimously approved a new city budget Wednesday and Tulsans will see a lot of changes coming up this year.
Changes include more police and firefighters on the streets, and the city said it's the largest influx of police officers in their history.
Ninety new hires will come on board at the Tulsa Police Department and at least 35 new cadet positions are funded for the Tulsa Fire Department.
Additionally, a couple of first-time projects are funded in the budget, including $25,000 will help the Better Way program get started.
The Better Way program is a public-private partnership where panhandlers will be offered beautification jobs around the city.
The city's also funding for the first time, essentially, a 'drunk tank,' to help some intoxicated residents avoid jail time.
Also, Tulsans' water, sewer, and stormwater bills are all going up later this year. Water bills will go up by 4 percent, sewer by 9 percent and stormwater by 9 percent respectively, effective October 1, 2017.
The general revenue fund will stay flat, and the city says the investment in police, fire, public transit and more is thanks to factors like the Vision Tulsa tax package and Amazon now charging local sales tax.