By Emory Bryan, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- The privatization of the Tulsa Zoo will potentially cost the City of Tulsa several hundred thousand dollars to lay off employees.
Budget Director Pat Connelly told Tulsa City Councilors Tuesday morning he would ask they appropriate the money out of fund balances left at the end of the fiscal year.
Connelly said the cost of the layoff was unknown, even though the privatization is set to take effect August 1. The City has extended the existing contract with the former Tulsa Zoo Friends to July 31.
Dwayne Midget, who supervises the department, said the "worst case scenario" of employees choosing to quit would put the city's cost in the "four to five hundred thousand dollar range."
Terri Correll, the Director of the Zoo, said it has 69 employees now, and the assumption is that any employees who want to stay at the zoo would be given the opportunity under Tulsa Zoo Management Inc, the new organization which will run the zoo under contract with the City.