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.