Tulsa City Council Proposes $920 Million in Improvements
By Caitlin Alexander
City leaders are preparing to hear taxpayers' opinions on capital improvements that could possibly cost just under $920 million. City councilors approved a draft of the plan Thursday night.The plan is a continuation of 2008's Fix Our Streets program. It's a penny sales tax that was originally for improving roads. While about $654 million would go towards transportation, other funds would aim to improve public safety, public facilities, the animal shelter, Riverparks, and add new pools and other features to area parks. The plan would allot Parks and Recreation almost $35 million for improvements.Councilor Jeannie Cue said the plan also helps some entertainment or tourist areas in Tulsa. Route 66 Village along Southwest Boulevard would receive $550,000 to add bathrooms and parking spaces. Gilcrease Museum and the Performing Arts Center would also benefit. The Tulsa Zoo would receive $11,750,000. Staff is planning to update exhibits, like for the lions and tigers. Those habitats were built in the 1960s."I think it's really important to have the quality of life component in any city, but at the same time, we're also revenue generating for the city as well, and we contribute over 28 million dollars to the local economy just through our operations," said Tulsa Zoo Management CEO Terrie Correll.Cue said these improvements would help Tulsa attract more visitors. She mentioned that Route 66 Village attracts about 300,000 visitors."This is a city package, and this is what the residents in District Two has indicated to me that they would really support, and city wide, because this takes care of our city," Cue said.While Fix Our Street's tax lasts five years, this plan's tax would run as long as it takes to pay off. The plan will go before voters in November.There will be meetings for the public with the mayor and city councilors at the following times: July 16 - Hardesty Regional Library Frossard Auditorium, 8316 E. 93rd St. (Districts 7 and 8) July 30 - Martin Regional Library Auditorium, 2601 S. Garnett Road (Districts 5 and 6) Aug. 5 - OU-Tulsa Schusterman Center Auditorium, 4502 E. 41st St. (Districts 4 and 9) Aug. 6 - Rudisill Regional Library - Library Hall, 1520 N. Hartford Ave. (Districts 1 and 3) Aug. 13 - Carbondale Assembly of God, 2135 W. 51st St. (District 2)
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