Budgeting storm clean-up

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Reported by: Janna Clark
Updated: 7/29/2013 9:31 pm Published: 7/29/2013 5:10 pm

Trees are down all over Tulsa and clean-up could be costly.

At Tulsa parks, like Mohawk Park, trees had branches snapped off or were uprooted; now the city has to clean up the debris.

"It just came out of nowhere," said Keyonis Speight, who was driving in the storm.

"I saw trees falling over," he said.

Then he saw his nearby park.

"I was like what happened to the tree," he said.

Owen Park was hit hard.

"It looks really tacky all these trees lying around," he said.

Tulsa Parks' Mike Battenfield said city crews are working on it.

"There's so many of them," he said.

It could take a while with 120 city parks and only three crews; one that's contracted with the city is a local tree service.

The city normally uses that crew to trim trees city crews can't reach.

But with all the mess, the city's using the crew now.

"It's going to take a drain later on with the maintenance of our trees but we need them right now," said Battenfield.

The city budgets a certain amount to pay that contracted crew and once the money's gone, it's gone.

The city will use its regular crews during their regular hours. They will not use overtime.

"We're not using any overtime funds, we don't have overtime funds," said Battenfield.

Working within a tight budget, with so much work ahead, can be hard.

"It's pretty overwhelming," said Battenfield.

"Hopefully, we get it back together. I guess we're going to have to plant some more trees," said Speight.

The city said it will take 2 two weeks make the parks safe and a lot longer than that to clean everything up.

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