Final Vision2 public forum held on Friday night

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Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 9/07/2012 10:22 am Published: 8/15/2012 5:19 pm

City of Tulsa leaders want to know how you would spend $158 million to improve quality of life in the city.

That's how much Tulsa would get from the extension of the Vision2025 bond package, known as Vision2.  The city is working on a plan now on how to spend its share of the funds if voters approve Vision2 in November.

Mayor Dewey Bartlett and several city councilors have recommended a few ideas before hearing from the public, including making improvements at the Tulsa Zoo, completing the Gilcrease Expressway, and fixing the Zink Dam and possibly adding a second dam on the Arkansas River to help spur economic development along the river.

"Since they'll be paying the tab on this, what do they think we should focus on," Bartlett asked.

"I think we're going to get a lot of outside the box ideas, ideas for projects in Tulsa that nobody in this building has even though of yet," GT Bynum, District Nine City Councilor, said.

FOX23 News heard some relatively simple ideas from Tulsans on Wednesday.

"Put a little bit more money funding more areas of swimming pools, parks for kids I think would be a good idea," Nancy McDaniel said.

But Bartlett is hoping to also hear some ideas on a larger scale.

"My recommendation is focusing on big ticket items, big deal," he said. "The next BOK. Something that really has the opportunity to transform the community."

The city will host five public forums in the coming weeks to hear those transformative ideas. The possibilities seem endless.

McDaniel likes the idea of improving the zoo with some of the funds.

"What they've done downtown with the BOK Center and Drillers Stadium, the zoo can do nothing but bring in more people from out of town," she said.

But McDaniel and fellow Tulsan Justin Cooper were on the same page as the mayor and city council. They kept coming back to the river.

"It's really difficult, I'd say, for a private developer to come in and say I'm going to spend my money on the river when half the time you can walk all the way across it on dry land," Cooper said.

"It just really perks this whole area up when there's water," McDaniel said. "I mean, it makes a huge difference."

"Improving the Zink Dam, which is the dam currently in place, raising that a few feet, and then building a dam in South Tulsa or Jenks," Bynum said. "The total cost for the city on that comes out to about $95 million."

But with an eye on that elusive "transformative" project, Cooper says nothing but the river will give Tulsans the return on their investment like the BOK Center did with Vision2025.

"I think [fixing the river dams] would definitely spur development and bring further revenue into the city," Cooper said.

After all of the public forums, city councilors will sort through all of the ideas and pick the best ones. By mid-September they will pass a resolution outlining which projects the city will pursue if voters pass Vision2 in November.

Click here to see Tulsa's Vision2 Web site.

Below are the times and locations for the final public forum the City of Tulsa has scheduled to share ideas.

Friday, September 7, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
ORU Mabee Center
7777 S. Lewis Ave.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

aleman - 9/4/2012 7:48 PM
0 Votes
Damned river is so full of sand it actually carries more water than you think 6 inches on top 100 feet below and the lovely view across the river and the smell of nature the south wind brings(the call of nature)no it's a waste of money,you build something in the northside if the building materials don't get carried off first they don't appreciate it and they procede to destroy it,if you waste it on downtown the winos and perverts contaminate it,the old neanderthals that run this town and have for 100 years need to venture out and realize there is more to this town than those 3 areas.

Gladys Crump - 9/4/2012 4:46 PM
0 Votes
Unfortunatey Mustangdriver is right, they will go ahead and do it whether or not we vote it down, always trying to spend money on the nasty river...maybe we need to clean up our city first, do you think people will actually be willing to dock a boat up to a restaurant when there is a better than avearage chance they will be robbed, shot, raped or be car or boat jacked? I won't, I can tell you that, and having a dam won't change that.

Steve In Tulsa - 9/4/2012 1:10 PM
0 Votes
How about fixing the city roads? In many areas the so-called streets are as bad as rutted dirt roads. The roads are so bad it damages my suspension.

mustangdriver - 8/27/2012 11:27 AM
0 Votes
No sense in wasting any money in north tulsa. Whatever gets built, will just be tagged with spray paint or vandalized. The river needs to be dammed up. Has anyone ever been to Little Rock? The city is dirty, but they have dammed the river up there and it makes a crappy city look good. Boaters are able to launch boats year round into the river. If we can ever get this done, development along the river will flourish. Would be nice to dock a boat up to a restaurant or bar. If you build something in North Tulsa, no one is going to venture out into that part of town to enjoy it. The north side has a bad reputation, and no one is willing to look past that. Roadster - The city realizes that, without taking ideas from the public, the public will most likely not vote for it. My guess is that they will do what they want either way, but they want the people to feel like they have a say so, just to get the measure to pass. SO all you north tulsans, don't get your hopes up, I seriously doubt anything but pothole crews will be coming your way.

billw001 - 8/16/2012 11:27 AM
1 Vote
REALLY?? YOU ALREADY HAVE OVER SIX HUNDRED MILLION IN THE RAINY DAY FUND. USE THAT!! This state has robbed the taxpayers far to many times............ USE the money you already have. Learn to manage what you got.......

aleman - 8/16/2012 4:34 AM
1 Vote
Complete the Gilcrease Expressway what a joke I think I have seen at the most 4 cars on it at one time,notice their ideas for the money are the river,downtown,or North Tulsa there are hundreds of square miles of Tulsa that are in bad need of this money besides these areas that always get the money.

aleman - 8/16/2012 3:57 AM
1 Vote
wasting money on the same old crap,rampant crime wave,meth capital of the world,streets like some third world country...damn where might you spend the money,build a dam on the old nasty river...we are the laughing stock of America.

roadster05r - 8/15/2012 8:28 PM
1 Vote
Shouldn't the city already have a plan for the funds, BEFORE they go to the voters with their hands out again?
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