Park Consolidation Proposal - KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

Park Consolidation Proposal

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People do a lot of pondering in parks, but one thing you don't normally think about is who runs them.

"Most people in this city they just like to be at a park. They don't necessarily know if it's owned and operated by the city, by the county, or River Parks," said Mayor Bartlett.

But it's something the city is acutely aware of with a budget as dry as an unused water fountain.

"We as a city fund the parks department, at least historically, at about $15 million a year," said Tulsa city councilor GT Bynum.

So why not combine, says the mayor, operations of the city and county parks under one umbrella?

"We strongly believe that it would result in a much stronger park system and would also potentially give access to other sources of revenue," he said.

"Efficient means good use of money, time, and planning," said Elizabeth Stilley, running the concept by her own focus group of park experts.

"There's like tons of kids here and you can play and have fun. I like the monkey bars," said two children.

"To me it seems like you'd get rid of overhead because with either one of those organizations you're gonna have all those oversights for the county and all the oversight for the city, so by merging the two you should probably be able to, it'll probably delete some jobs, but you would also save that cost, I would imagine," said Tony Yelle.

"There are a lot of economies of scale you can get there and also doing it as a city/county park system allows you the potential opportunity of funding it via property tax," said Bynum.
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