Story by Susan Hylton found on TulsaWorld.com
BIXBY – The City of Bixby’s fiscal 2012 budget is described as conservative yet dedicated to funding capital improvements, re-investing in existing assets, technological upgrades and quality-of-life projects.
Although sales tax revenues are up 3 percent from fiscal 2010, they’re still 7 percent lower than in fiscal 2009.
“We’ve stabilized this year,” City Manager Doug Enevoldsen said. “It’s taken fiscal discipline through one of the most trying times since the Great Depression.”
In an effort to be “fiscally responsible,” the $6.3 million budget is still less than the $6.6 million budget of fiscal 2009.
There’s no reduction in staff, but it’s the third year non-uniformed employees haven’t had a raise and the second year for no raises among uniformed employees.
Enevoldsen said the 2012 budget does plan for longevity payments of $500 to each employee at the end of the year. The end of the year is also when officials evaluate the budget to see if they can afford an additional $500 dividend.
Enevoldsen said they were able to do both the longevity and dividend pay this fiscal year.
“We care about our employees. Everyone has sacrificed, and we want to reward them for that,” he said.
Although Bixby hasn’t resorted to furloughs in recent years, it has downsized through attrition and eliminated three full-time administrative positions more than a year ago, which reduced the administrative budget by about 18 percent.
No new positions are planned in 2012, but funds will be available to replace three firefighters.
“We have one of the leanest city governments you’ll find,” Enevoldsen said. “People wear a lot of hats. It’s enabled us to avoid some very disruptive things.”
Although sewer and drainage projects may not seem exciting, Enevoldsen said they are key infrastructure projects needed in a rapidly growing community. He said they continue to do a lot of capital projects as part of an “aggressive economic development strategy.”
Included in the 2012 budget is a drainage project and extension of 126th Street west of Memorial Drive where the Encore on Memorial, a new 240-unit apartment complex, just broke ground.
The city is also investing in a telemetry system that will allow workers to remotely monitor water and sewer treatment facilities.
The city is also…
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