City seeks input on capital improvement proposals

TULSA - City officials want public input for an upcoming capital improvements package that could be sent to voters in November.

The proposal would actually be an extension of the Fix Our Streets program.

The total value is estimated at around $800 million, nearly doubling the amount of the original package sent to voters in 2008.

This time, several other capital improvement projects, like upgrades to city hall, and police and fire stations, would be included too.

"The maintenance of our city's infrastructure is so important that we see that time and time again when we ignore, we ignore at our peril," said Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett.

The majority of the proposal would still be spent on streets, but some people think street repairs should be the only issue under consideration.

"Don't call it 'Fix Our Streets' if you're going to include other stuff with it," said Ronda Vuillemont-Smith.

Vuillemont-Smith was a staunch opponent of Vision2. She likened the idea of including multiple issues in one package to Vision2.

"Don't roll it all into one because it's confusing and people aren't sure what's happening," said Vuillemont-Smith.

She is happy that the city wants to hear from voters first.

"I think the lesson that was learned in Vision2, or in the defeat of Vision2, is that the citizens want more transparency. They want more openness. They want more input."

The public meetings will be held in each of the nine council districts in March and April.

"We want to make sure that the citizens of Tulsa have every opportunity available to them to have a role in this process, to make their opinions heard about how their money gets spent," said Bartlett.

The first meeting will be held March 4 at Tulsa Community College Center for Creativity, 910 S. Boston Avenue. Click here for a full list of neighborhood meetings (http://bit.ly/fixyourstreets).

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