Tulsa facility renovations eyed as part of new funding package
BY ZACK STOYCOFF World Staff Writer
Monday, February 11, 2013
2/15/13 at 1:39 PM
Major renovations of city facilities are being considered for the next rendition of the 2008 Fix Our Streets package as the proposal begins taking shape as a catch-all solution for bread-and-butter needs - streets or otherwise.
Unlike Tulsa County's Vision 2025 and Vision2 initiatives, the city's latest capital improvements package would focus on its $1.4 billion backlog of needs, rather than desires, said City Councilor G.T. Bynum, who heads a task force examining projects for the proposal.
The city's Engineering Services Department has proposed spending $35.3 million of the next package's estimated $800 million on facility renovations - including a new roof and carpet for City Hall, repairs for police and fire stations and energy-efficiency upgrades for the Gilcrease Museum.
Nothing gets more basic than that, officials said.
"There is no fluff or froufrou in this deal," Bynum said. "There's going to be making sure that our fire stations aren't falling apart on the firefighters who live in them and that police officers can get to crime scenes without their cars breaking down.
"This is as basic, bread-and-butter government needs as you get."
The new package, which simply renews the funding sources behind the first Fix Our Streets package, would continue its predecessor's mission of improving street conditions - possibly allocating as much as $670 million for pavement repairs.
But this time, all capital needs are being considered because the Third Penny and 4 to Fix the County sales taxes - traditionally used for streets as well as other projects - would be available for the package's entire duration.
The Third Penny tax only became available for the final two years of the original five-year package.
Each city department will present a list of proposals for the new package by the end of the month, and city officials plan to ask for input at two rounds of town hall meetings before developing a final list to send to voters Nov. 12.
The renovations are among the latest proposals by city departments.
They include $10.5 million for fire stations and other Fire Department facilities and $7 million for the Police Department's three division headquarters, its academy and CompStat center.
The next-largest share of renovation funding - $4.8 million - would go to replacing a portion of City Hall's roof, upgrading its fire alarm system, replacing two service elevators and installing new carpet on five floors.
Paul Zachary, the city's Engineering Services director, said his department recommended the renovations largely in anticipation of forecast needs, although he added that current needs will become more expensive if not addressed soon enough.
"These are stout structures," he said. "They're in very good shape, but we have to take care of these things before they become much bigger and create bigger issues for us."
Under his department's proposal, the three police division headquarters would get external repairs, new windows, driveways, flooring, plumbing and heating and air conditioning systems at a cost of $3 million. Another $4 million would fund pavement, flooring and wall repairs, as well as elevator, heating and air upgrades at the CompStat, courts and police academy building.
The Fire Department would get $8.5 million for new generator equipment, exterior repairs, driveways, windows, lighting, heating and air and plumbing for its fire stations; and $2 million for new driveways and heating and air systems at its garage, training and storage centers.
The proposal also includes $1.3 million for energy efficiency and lighting upgrades at the Gilcrease Museum, $2 million for two large chilling units at the Tulsa Convention Center, and $2.4 million to help bring parks and other facilities, including the BOK Center and Tulsa Zoo, into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Tulsa Animal Welfare Shelter would get $945,000 for routine repairs, but its Fix Our Streets total would jump to at least $1.7 million under a separate proposal to add kennels, restrooms, a community room and an outdoor interaction area.
Fire facilities: $10.5 million
Police facilities: $7 million
City Hall: $4.8 million
Garages: $3.5 million
Numerous, roofing: $3 million
Numerous, ADA compliance: $2.4 million
Tulsa Convention Center: $2 million
Gilcrease Museum: $1.3 million
Animal shelter: $750,000
Original Print Headline: Facilities renovation studied
Zack Stoycoff 918-581-8486
City councilor G.T. Bynum speaks during a special council meeting, at the City Hall ground chambers, on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World