City takes ‘conservative’ budget approach

Cost-of-living raise proposed for Yukon’s employees

Yukon City Manager Tammy Kretchmar (left) and Assistant City Manager Mitchell Hort (second from left) join City of Yukon department directors presenting their fiscal year 2023-24 budget proposals to the Yukon City Council during a special study session May 9 inside the Yukon Police Department community room, 100 S Ranchwood. The budget discussion meeting lasted 3-1/2 hours. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

With lingering concerns about inflation and a possible recession, Yukon city leaders are being cautious in preparing the city’s annual budget – although a raise for city employees is on the table.

The Yukon City Council must approve a balanced budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year starting July 1.

“It is best to take a conservative approach,” Yukon City Manager Tammy Kretchmar said.

City of Yukon administrators started work in February on the FY 2023-24 budget.

Department directors and supervisors formally presented their annual budget requests to the Yukon City Council during a 3-1/2-hour special study session May 9.

Council members heard about their needs during the budget meeting inside the Yukon Police Department community room, 100 S Ranchwood.

Yukon’s city sales tax revenues are up 6.21% year-to-date compared to the same period last year.

However, Kretchmar pointed out that sales tax collections have declined for the last two months.

“We keep hearing about a recession,” the city manager told council members. “This may be an indication it’s starting.”

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) has risen 4.9% over the last 12 months, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Yukon’s proposed fiscal year 2023-24 budget for all accounts totals $71,307,984.

Some 49.8% of this amount – $35,483,234 – is designated for personnel services.

The city of Yukon currently has 245 full-time and 40 part-time employees on staff.

“We’ve got a great group of people that work for us, and we’ve got a great city council,” Kretchmar said Thursday in her annual “State of the City” address.

“I’m very proud to be your city manager.”

Tuesday night’s 2023-24 budget meeting covered 19 general fund accounts with proposed revenues totaling $30,977,208.

Personnel services comprise $25,779,630 (83.2%) of the general fund total.

Yukon’s general employees have not received a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) since a 5% across-the-board increase at the end of FY20.

They did receive a 3% stipend for FY19 and FY23.

City administrators are proposing “tiered” COLA pay raises in the FY23-24 budget:

  • 5% – employees making below $60,000.
  • 4% – employees making between $60,001-$99,999.
  • 3% – employees making $100,000 and above.

Rising inflation “has been tough” on the city of Yukon, Kretchmar said.

But city officials “need to reward our employees” and keep salaries competitive, the city manager added.

Several department directors discussed the challenges they’ve had filling certain positions.

For example, Yukon’s Fleet Maintenance department is having a hard time finding a mechanic.

At Tuesday’s budget hearing, the city’s department heads reviewed their proposed expenditures – specifically personnel services, materials, supplies, services, and charges.

“Thank you for your hard work,” Mayor Shelli Selby told the directors and supervisors. “We wish we could meet all your needs, but we only have so much money.”



Yukon’s proposed FY23-24 general fund budget calls for a 5.7% increase over the FY22-23 budget, which totaled $29,305,581.

City of Yukon department directors have proposed these amounts for their general fund accounts:

  • Legislative – $1,163,009
  • Administration – $580,481
  • Insurance – $1,209,794
  • Finance – $545,481
  • Fire – $5,896,699
  • Police – $8,556,494
  • Street – $1,294,617
  • Municipal Court – $362,680
  • Emergency Management – $19,690
  • Technology – $1,645,378
  • Development Services – $1,383,290
  • Library – $715,093
  • Property Maintenance – $1,534,798
  • Human Resources – $483,025
  • Park Maintenance – $1,160,333
  • Parks & Recreation – $2,293,948
  • Fleet Maintenance – $1,105,564
  • Animal Control – $456,513
  • Public Works Administration – $570,322

Yukon Police is the largest department with 68 employees, which increases to 72 in the proposed budget.

The plan is to add three new patrol officers and one new communications officer.

Calls for service and 911 emergencies continue to increase as “Oklahoma City develops around us,” Yukon Police Chief John Corn said.

Yukon Fire also has seen a steady increase in call volume, Chief Shawn Vogt pointed out.

The department is Yukon’s second largest, with 44 employees.

Negotiations are ongoing with Yukon’s police and fire unions as city leaders hope to have agreements in place by the end of the current fiscal year.

The Property Maintenance Department will lose longtime city employee George Middleton to retirement next spring

“That will be a big loss,” Yukon Public Works Director Arnold Adams sad. “We hate to see him go.”

The budget proposal calls for two assistant director positions in both the Public Works and Parks & Recreation departments, Kretchmar noted.



Tuesday night’s city budget discussion included 13 other accounts totaling $40,330,776:

  • Sinking Fund – $772,000
  • Sales Tax Capital Improvements (CIP) Program – $12,492.747
  • Hotel/Motel Tax Fund – $459,794
  • Oil and Gas: Highways and Streets – $3,520
  • Special Revenue Fund – $727,741
  • Water/Sewer Enterprise – $10,380,173
  • Sanitation Enterprise – $2,301,875
  • Stormwater Enterprise – $277,984
  • Grant Fund – $512,500
  • American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Fund – $4,774,347
  • Yukon Public Employees Sales Tax (PEST) Fund – $5,328,612
  • Yukon Reserve Support Fund – $2,000,000
  • Yukon Economic Development Authority Fund – $299,483

Proposed sales tax revenues of $5,337,270 are listed in the FY23-24 budget – up slightly from the current fiscal year’s $5,284,426 total.

Assistant City Manager Mitchell Hort talked about economic development efforts, especially in attracting developers to the Frisco Road/Interstate 40 area near where a new interchange opened in fall 2021.

“We’ve had some people look but nobody wants to ‘pull the trigger’,” Hort told the city council. “We’re trying to do everything we can.

“Everybody wants the high ground first.”

The city of Yukon will use its ARPA federal stimulus award on water and sewer infrastructure.

Potential projects include water and sewer line replacements, sewer lift station repairs, water filtration system installation, smart water meters, and lowering a water well transmission line.

Some ARPA funds – along with other federal monies – could be used for a needed upgrade to Yukon’s wastewater treatment plant.

A matching fund grant is helping fund construction of the new Freedom Trail Playground and Splash Pad.

City officials also plan to utilize grants for street and sidewalk improvements, and multimodal trail projects.

Toward the end of Tuesday’s Yukon City Council budget hearing, Hort reviewed capital expenditure requests totaling more than $6 million from 14 departments.

Then Kretchmar suggested several options to fund other projects using $2.5 million in unassigned funds.

Read more about these possible capital improvements and the city’s 2023-24 budget talks in upcoming editions of The Yukon Progress.