MIDWEST CITY — A charter agreement that allows Midwest City to extend services to Tinker Air Force Base will save both entities hundreds of thousands of dollars, city officials estimate.
Since the charter was enacted in March, Midwest City has extended its jail, juvenile and animal control services to base occupants in an unprecedented move for a city incorporated 70 years ago to accommodate the growing military population.
“The fact that Midwest City was originally founded and developed to serve as an aid to the base speaks to the partnership they have long shared,” city spokeswoman Kay Hunt said.
Tim Lyon, assistant city manager of administration, said the goal of the collaboration is to strengthen the base and reduce costs on both ends.
“In essence it's a win-win for us. It helps Tinker save by not having to provide these services themselves and we profit by not having to provide additional staff. The amount we will receive by extending services we already provide to the city will defray our administration's overhead cost,” Lyon said.
Lyon said for each base inmate that is housed at the city's jail, Tinker Air Force will pay roughly $50 per day.
Similarly, the base will be charged $50 for each animal that receives services from the city's animal control division.
Tinker Air Force Base will not be responsible to pay for services provided to juvenile offenders who live on the base.
Midwest City will provide intervention services to juveniles whose parents voluntarily elect to participate in the program and who pay the appropriate fees. Intervention services include family interviews, community service, background assessments, drug testing and tutoring.
Fines will be assessed for the same criminal actions that juveniles across the state are subject to including public intoxication, drug or alcohol possession, assault and battery and staying out past curfew.
“If these kids are getting into trouble on the base they are going to get into trouble in the city, so it makes sense for us to extend these services to them,” Lyons said.
Lyons said the city will profit from the fees Tinker Air Force Base will pay for the services and the base will save money that would otherwise go to constructing internal services.
“It's a tremendous savings for them,” Lyons said. “Just not having to build a jail, monitor and man it 24 hours a day will save them a tremendous amount.”
Lyons said the collaboration is governed by the new Tinker Partnership Steering Committee.
The charter was designed using a model already in place in Monterey, Calif., where a retired Army colonel turned city manager implemented a partnership between the city and its Army post to cut costs, strengthen ties and improve the economy overall.