CITY OF TULSA, OK
DESCRIPTION OF PARTNERSHIP ARRANGEMENT
The Haikey Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant is an 8 MGD treatment plant, jointly owned by the cities of Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. The plant originally commenced service in 1976 and the City of Tulsa has been the operator of the facility since that time, through agreements with the City of Broken Arrow and the Regional Metropolitan Utility Authority. The Authority is a board consisting of two members from each of five area cities that comprise the Authority. Approval from the board was sought to seek competitive bids from O&M contractors in order to possibly reduce annual O&M costs for the Haikey Creek Facilities. Bids were taken and, eventually the City of Tulsa's bid for the five-year contract was accepted as the low bidder from a field of four bidders. On May 1, 1994, Tulsa's staff at the plant began their role as an independent contractor to the Authority for the duration of the five-year contract. Since the O&M contracts inception, sludge dewatering facilities have been added and a contract to expand the plant's capacity to 16 MGD and add other improvements is underway.
ESTIMATED/ACTUAL COST SAVINGS -- IMPACT ON RATES
The two partner cities proportionately share the annual O&M costs of the Haikey Creek Plant. The percentage split is determined annually based on the ratio of flow into the plant from each city's system. The contractor (Tulsa) is paid an annual fee by the Authority, based upon annual bid amounts specified in the contract. The Authority pays for all electrical energy usage, up to a specified annual maximum. The contractor pays for all O&M costs, up to $50,000 for a single occurrence. Capital improvements to the facility are determined and paid for by the Authority. Actual cost savings under the contract are difficult to measure due to the plant's changing operating parameters since 1994.
As operator of the plant the City of Tulsa did not eliminate an city employee positions. Although the current staffing level is lower that it had been in earlier years of operation of the facility, staffing levels had been decreasing gradually through attrition during the 1-2 years prior to initiation of the O&M contract. Upon commencement of the contract, vacant positions were transferred to other treatment facilities, precluding the loss of City positions. The AFSCME Local President was involved in preliminary planning meetings for the change to contract O&M and the Union maintains its role as bargaining unit for the employees at the facility.
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright © 1996-97, U.S. Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.