North Tulsa District Forum Breaks Down Possible PSO Rate Hike

State officials met with constituents Saturday to discuss North Tulsa's needs. The district forum also discussed concerns regarding the proposed PSO utility bill hike with an official from the company.

The proposed hike would increase bills 11 percent.

"It's my job to make sure that they do understand that this is something my constituents don't feel like they can afford," said State Representative Kevin Matthews. He was joined by Senator Jabar Shumate, Representative Seneca Scott, and City Councilor Jack Henderson.

Vice President of External Affairs for PSO, John Harper, attended the forum to explain the need for the proposed change. He said the change would help meet government energy requirements. It would change energy technologies from coal to natural gas.

He likened the change to the group's goal to increase education budgets and decrease corrections budgets.

"Would you rather invest in prisons or would you rather invest in education? Would you rather continue to use a technology that serves us well with low prices in coal but has probably lived through a time we need to move away from to cleaner technologies?" asked Harper.

Forum participants were able to speak individually with Harper to discuss their concerns.

Many of the participants took part in dividing into committees to help improve North Tulsa in the areas of education, economic development, healthcare, public safety, and incarceration/reintegration.

State officials also shared their goals for these areas.

"I'm really optimistic about the north side, really feeling like we're going to have some progress in the future," said participant Cortez Johnson.

The forum will meet again February 16th.

This is one of several town hall discussions to hit Green Country this week. Congressmen Jim Bridenstine and Markwayne Mullin will be in the area conducting discussions this week.