|Updated: 9/25/2012 10:27 pm
||Published: 9/25/2012 4:24 pm
The City of Tulsa hopes voters want to see more water in the Arkansas River when they head to the polls to vote on the Vision2 tax extension in November. Tulsa City Councilor G.T. Bynum says Tulsa has been trying to get water in the Arkansas River for fifty years, at first city leaders wanted the federal government or the state to help chip in for the project. Now, they're asking voters spend $71 million in Vision2 funds to rebuild the Zink Dam and build a completely new one.
The Arkansas River in Tulsa doesn't get many rave reviews.
“It’s dry, nasty, rocky and ugly,” Anastasia Bruno told FOX23 as she looked out at the River near 71st Street.
That look of the River may soon change.
“This is our opportunity to make our mark on this city for decades to come,” Bynum said Tuesday.
The City of Tulsa wants to use $41 million in Vision2 funds to rebuild the Zink Dam near 31st Street and spend $30 million to build a new dam at 103rd Street south of the Creek Turnpike. They say both projects would significantly raise the water level between the two dams. A combined $30 million dollar contribution for the project would also come from the city of Jenks and the Creek Nation.
“We really giving the citizens of Tulsa a discount of 30 percent on the overall cost of building these two dams,” Bynum said.
Bynum says raising the water level would attract new businesses to the river.
“There are under-utilized parts of the river right now because a lot of times there are weeds in the river or dirt instead of water,” he said.
Some Tulsans are all ready to vote yes.
“If they can fix it, I think it's worthwhile,” Lacey McGee said.
Others are worried about the $71 million price tag.
“I think citizens may be a little bit more reluctant to spend money at this time, and maybe once the economy bounces back in the future, come back and look at it,” Blane Hoag told FOX23.
If these dam projects are approved by voters, construction on the Zink Dam can start in August and four or five years after that project is completed, construction would start on the new dam near 103rd Street once permitting has been approved.