Voters Approve $918M In Capital Improvements, Raises For Tulsa City Councilors

Tuesday, November 12th 2013, 8:57 pm
By: News On 6

More than $900 million was on the line Tuesday night with "Improve Our Tulsa," a capital improvements package.

It funds everything from road repairs to equipment for Tulsa's police and firefighters, along with upgrades at Central Library and the zoo.

The package was split into two propositions.

The first, Proposition 2 extends a sales tax, to raise $563 million.

News On 6 called it Tuesday night with 69 percent of voters saying yes.

Proposition 3 uses bonds to raise $355 million for street and bridge repairs.

Voters approved it by 72 percent.

"Improve Our Tulsa" supporters gathered at the Holiday Inn downtown to watch the results come in. It only took 45 minutes after the polls to close for campaign workers there to realize Props 2 and 3 had passed.

City councilors, the Tulsa Chamber and other members of the business community watched to see the fate of a sales tax renewal and the approval of a bond issue.

The funds go to a slew of street and bridge projects, but also helps fund projects within the police and fire departments.

Councilor GT Bynum says he's amazed at the turnout and response to these two ballots initiatives.

"To see these numbers in the high 60s and 70s, I think it shows that Tulsans do take pride in their city and their police officers and firefighters, to have the tools they need, and they want their streets fixed up," Bynum said.

Councilor Bynum said, before more orange barrels go up, the city will work to get Tulsa firefighters new breathing equipment.

11/12/2013 Related Story: Tulsa Voters Deciding Mayor's Race, Capital Improvement Package

Mike Neal, President and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber praised the voters for passing the capital improvements package Tuesday night.

"Tulsa voters made it clear tonight that they support continued improvement in our community. From the beginning, the Improve Our Tulsa campaign has been about addressing critical infrastructure and initiatives that keep Tulsa growing. The Chamber supports investment in our city's core services – safe streets and bridges, quality equipment for our police and fire, safe parks for our children, and public facilities that operate efficiently, as these are investments in the future of our children, and a thriving Tulsa in which they'll want to live, work and raise a family.

"We are grateful to Tulsa voters for standing in support of these investments tonight, and to the city leaders who worked tirelessly over the past year to outline a course addressing these critical initiatives."

The City of Tulsa's other proposition, Prop 1, also passed with 55 percent of the vote.

It will raise city councilors' salaries from $18,000 a year up to $24,000 a year.

But it also takes away councilors' ability to give themselves a raise in the future.