By Emory Bryan, The News On 6
TULSA, OK – Since a City of Tulsa utility oversight board hasn't made a decision on whether to transfer $746,000 to the city's general fund, the Tulsa City Council can't count on the money for mowing and graffiti removal.
But as for graffiti, the city got some good news Wednesday with a new offer from volunteers to clean up Tulsa.
Tulsa's graffiti problem is also a financial problem for the city. It costs $200,000 a year for manpower and materials for the single crew working to clean it up and they can't come close to getting all of it.
Some new volunteers will start helping soon, from Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology.
"When somebody like Spartan calls up with the size they have and the ability to commit a lot of people to help, that's a big deal," said Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett.
Spartan officials says the school's 1,200 students will start work in about a month cleaning up graffiti around their two campuses and in East Tulsa, at the request of City Councilor Jim Mautino.
"A lot of people don't consider this a public safety item, but it is," Mautino said. "Because they tag their neighborhoods, saying we control this area."
The city pays the cost of cleaning up more than 4,000 graffiti tags each year, much of it repeat work on the same location.
They have a backlog of 300 other locations. Considering the city will soon have more volunteer help, the possibility of new money from the trash fund or some other source would help.
"It would certainly buy a lot of paint, a lot of brushes, a lot of materials," Dan Crossland, Streets Maintenance Supervisor, said.
Spartan says they'll get their 1,200 students out in July to work on graffiti. The city will give them brushes and paint and they'll supply the manpower.