85 new jobs in proposed $952M Oklahoma City budget

The Oklahoma City Council is considering a proposed $952 million city budget for fiscal year 2013. The budget includes 85 new city jobs, which were made possible with steady growth in the metro area.
BY MICHAEL KIMBALL mkimball@opubco.com Published: May 2, 2012
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Oklahoma City Council members will spend the next several weeks poring over a proposed city budget that includes 85 new city jobs, a reflection of steady growth in the metro area and giving the city a larger workforce than it had before the recession.

Oklahoma City Budget Director Doug Dowler presented to the council Tuesday a proposed city budget of $952 million for fiscal year 2013, which begins July 1. The council will spend the next few weeks delving deeper into the 645-page budget, which is set for possible adoption June 12.

The proposed budget swelled slightly from $920 million last year, fueled by estimated economic growth of about 5 percent in Oklahoma City. Economists have predicted local growth will slow to about 3 percent next year, which is factored into the city's revenue projections.

Budget breakdown

The city's operations spending, including the $387 million general fund, make up about $594 million of the budget. More than half of that is public safety spending.

The remainder is largely spending on capital projects like MAPS 3 and general obligation bond programs. The city is also still paying out money from the expired MAPS for Kids and sports arena sales taxes as those projects wind down.

Oklahoma City begins the process of forming a budget each year by conducting a survey of city residents and presenting the results to the council to sharpen areas of focus. Work on the 2014 budget has already started.

“We're working on our survey now,” Dowler said. “Our contractor ... will be conducting the survey later this summer. We'll be reporting the results in July or August.”

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