Study Begins on Possibility of Merging Tulsa County, City Park Systems

Officials in Tulsa County have begun discussions this week on the possibility of merging the county and city parks system.

Members of the Tulsa County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution Monday afternoon that will look at the feasibility of merging the two departments. The decision comes after recent discussions with the City of Tulsa, the Tulsa City Council and residents in the area.

Michael Willis with the Board of Commissioners told KTUL that the proposal is in its early stages of determining the possibility of a merger. He said that resolution will allow for a study to begin to look at whether the merger will be financially and physically efficient.

"I think it will probably end up giving us either a yes or no, do we move forward or don't we," Willis said. "The next step is to figure out how much money we could possibly save."

Officials were not able to provide an amount for how much money would saved if the two departments merged. But it is believed that duplicate roles in within the departments would be cut saving them some revenue.

"We've got some models that we can follow if we decide this is a financially viable project," Willis added. Those models included the Tulsa City-County Library system, the River Parks Authority and the Tulsa County Health Department.

It is estimated that the City of Tulsa has an approximate 140 parks, while the County only has three major ones with community centers.

Willis told KTUL that it could be months before his office receives the results for the study.