Should City Hall Be Sold? - KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

Should City Hall Be Sold?

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It's a gorgeous looking building, but those looks come with a hefty annual price tag, $5 million dollars.

"$5 million dollars a year that's not going to police officers, that's not going to firefighters," said Tulsa city councilor GT Bynum.

And in this climate of economic crunch at city hall, councilor Bynum is looking everywhere to maximize taxpayer value.

"I think its incumbent on us as elected leaders to make sure that the citizens' dollars are being spent to serve them, not to give us a really nice office building to work in every day," he said.

"It was back in 2008 when the big move took place. It came with some assumptions, one being that selling off the old city buildings would help offset the cost, but old city hall sold for just one million.

"We could buy 5 of those buildings every year for what we're paying rent to our space in the building that we're in right now," he said.

Another assumption? Leasing out space would also help defray costs, and sure enough the building has a 95% occupancy rate. But says Bynum...

"The larger question is how's the lease rate? Which is a different matter. You know, you can have people occupying space in a building who may not be paying market rates on leasing," he said.

It was a well intentioned move, but the glitz has worn as thin as the budget, prompting question of whether a more economical move may be on the horizon.

"I just can't help but feel that there's a more cost effective way to provide office space for the city government than in that building," said Bynum

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