The part of the proposed Oklahoma City budget for the next fiscal year that involves the annual chief complaint from city residents — the condition of city streets — is up for discussion Tuesday in the latest city council budget meeting.
The council meets Tuesday for the second of three workshops to study individual department budgets. The council discussed the public safety and parking budget May 8 and are scheduled to discuss the development services, information technology and airports budgets June 5, with the final vote on the budget set for June 12.
The proposed budget for fiscal year 2013, which begins July 1, is about $952 million, with economic growth in the city fueling a rise from about $919 million this year.
Streets up next
A survey of city residents is part of the genesis of every city budget, along with policy guidance from the council. And every survey shows that the condition of streets in sprawling Oklahoma City is a chief complaint of those who live here.
The Public Works Department proposed budget is a hefty $68 million for 2013, which is smaller only than the police and fire budgets, according to city budget documents.
And in a reflection of residents' desire for improvement of city streets, 14 of the 85 new city jobs included in the proposed budget are for public works.
“The majority of those (jobs) are for street improvements, street repair or street maintenance,” city Public Works Director Eric Wenger said.
The new positions will help with tasks like repairs to potholes and other problems on streets, lane striping and sidewalk repair around the city, Wenger said.
Trip for Kelly?
The only item on Tuesday's council agenda that's not related to next year's budget is an item to approve a trip for Councilman Ronald “Skip” Kelly from June 7 to 9 to Temecula, Calif., for a National League of Cities meeting. Such items are typically routine.
Kelly has a preliminary hearing July 9 on a felony count of DUI. He was arrested in January for the second time in three years on suspicion of DUI, but has denied he was drunk at the time of the January incident.
Kelly is scheduled to go on the trip because he is a member of the league's Community Economic Development Steering Committee, which is hosting the meeting, a city spokeswoman said.