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(June 10, 2014) - Oklahoma City Council today approved a $1.1 billion City budget for fiscal year 2014-2015. The General Fund budget that pays for most of the people, materials and supplies needed to keep the City running is $415 million of that total.
The budget adds 40 new police positions, 33 of them uniformed officers. This brings the total number of funded uniform police positions to 1,149. Other departments with significant personnel additions include: Development Services (12), Utilities (10), Parks (9) and Fire (7). Total City positions will increase 2.0 percent to 4,672 with the addition of 92 positions.
“We are pleased that we have been able to add 134 police positions to the department in the past four years,” City Manager Jim Couch said. “Over that time, the number of uniform officer positions has increased 12 percent. This demonstrates City Council’s strong support for public safety.”
The budget also includes $1.35 million for service enhancements to EMBARK, formerly known as METRO Transit. The funding will establish a pilot project to extend bus service for two routes until midnight. Bus service currently ends at 7:30 p.m. The additional funding will also increase daytime frequency to every 30 minutes on at least two routes.
“The additional funding represents a strong vote of confidence in our efforts to provide increased service for our community. The shared foresight and support of our city council and the EMBARK board is to be commended for their commitment in pressing forward on the continuation of major enhancements to our system,” EMBARK Director/Administrator, Jason Ferbrache, said.
The budget originally proposed to City Council in April was $1.10 billion, but strong sales tax revenue in May helped increase the proposed budget by $0.9 million.
“While the budget does show an increase over the current year, City Council has continued its priority of strong financial management by not over committing resources or using one time funds to pay for operations,” Couch added. “The City budget maintains reserves near the top end of our financial policies.”
The budget is guided by feedback received from a citizen survey that is conducted by the City annually. Information from the survey also helps City Council set priorities that guide the City. Those priorities are:
Provide a safe and secure community
· Maintain strong financial management
· Promote thriving neighborhoods
· Develop a transportation system that works for all citizens
· Support high quality public education and community health and wellness
Sales tax is the largest single source of revenue for the City, making up 52.7 percent of operating revenue.
The budget takes effect July 1. The full budget book can be accessed by the link in the top right portion of this web page.
Five-Year Forecast Presented to Council
The Five-Year Forecast for 2015-2019 was presented to the City Council at a workshop on February 18, 2014. The purpose of this document is to present a forecast on the economy, evaluate the City's financial condition and provide an operational outlook for the City. The forecast presentation to the Council can be downloaded and includes the economic forecast presentation by Dr. Russell Evans, Executive Director of the Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute at Oklahoma City University.
Interim financial summaries are prepared after the close of each quarter. These are not audited financial statements, but an interim review of revenues and expenditures.
Leading for Results integrates strategic business planning, budgeting, and performance management to focus on the results customers expect from the services provided by the City.
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