An Arkansas River Task Force is proposing a plan to build dams in Arkansas River in 2017

Tulsa residents have heard about it for years, possibly even decades- the idea to have water in the Arkansas River.

Don't hold your breathe because the earliest you could see any work is 2017.

At Monday night's "City Hall in Your Neighborhood" meeting, Councilor Blake Ewing unveiled the proposed plan.

An Arkansas River Infrastructure Task Force (ARITF) have worked on their findings since November of last year.

ARITF members want to build four low water dams in Zink Dam, South Tulsa/Jenks, Sand Springs and Bixby.

The belief is that water in the river will spur developers to build restaurants, shops and apartments along the waterway.

"I don't want it to be miles of restaurants, casinos, turning into a little Branson. That's what we're afraid of" said Tulsa residents Stan and Marva Bair.

The long time Tulsa residents want more outdoors things like kayaking, fishing and nature trails.

"I don't even like to use the word development because that says to me commercialized. I want the river to be revitalized back to its natural prairie state where we can enjoy it," Marva Bair said.

Here's the cost for each low water dam:

  1. Zink: $35 million
  2. South Tulsa/ Jenks $53 million
  3. Sand Springs $73 million
  4. Bixby- an engineer hasn't estimated that cost.


There's a lot of "what ifs" on how to pay for the low water dams. The money must come private donor, state and federal grants, and taxpayers.

That means asking Tulsans to pay more sales tax by renewing Vision 2025 and having the Muscogee Creek Nation donate since it's building Margaritaville at River Spirit Casino.

Share your thoughts at tulsacouncil.org
 

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