Tulsa residents share opinions in first public Fix Our Streets sales tax extension forum
10:04 PM, Jul 16, 2013
10:30 PM, Jul 16, 2013
TULSA - Tulsans filled a library auditorium Tuesday for a chance to voice their opinions on on the city's next capitol improvements package for the first time.
Tuesday night's meeting was the first of five scheduled forums to focus on the potential improvements. Held at Hardesty Regional Library Frossard Auditorium, Mayor Dewey Bartlett and Tulsa city councilors asked for residents thoughts about an extension to 2008's Fix Our Streets sales tax package.
Much of the new package has already been set, and shouldn't cost residents any more than the 1.167 percent uptick made familiar with Fix Our Streets. Councilors say that could bring in an estimated $920 million to the city over five years.
Street and transportation improvements make up 71 percent of the proposed package, totaling about $654 million. This includes $470 million for rehabilitation of pavement conditions, $88 million for widening streets, such as Yale Avenue in south Tulsa and Riverside Drive, and for the continuation of the Gilcrease Expressway. It also provides $28 million for bridge improvements and $12 million for traffic engineering.
Transit would also get a boost with $15 million to replace aging vehicles and $15 million for the Peoria Avenue Rapid Bus Transit project.
The remaining 29 percent of funds would go to projects spanning a wide range of city departments and public agencies.
The police department would receive about $31 million, mostly for replacing critical public safety equipment. The fire department would receive about $35 million, which includes $17 million for apparatus replacement. Also, $6.5 million would go toward a law enforcement record management system.
New construction and upgrades to the city's parks and recreation facilities totals $35 million. This includes reconstruction of the city's five pools at Berry, Lacy, McClure, Reed and Whiteside parks.
The package sets aside $3.5 million for needed improvements to the animal shelter and $11.75 million for exhibits at the Tulsa Zoo.
Cultural facilities would get a boost with improvements to the Performing Arts Center at $5.5 million and to the Gilcrease Museum at $9 million. And $10 million would be leveraged with other public and private funds to implement the Tulsa City-County Library's Central Library project.
Residents will get to vote on this package in November.
The public meeting schedule is as follows. All meetings begin at 6 p.m.
-- July 30 - Martin Regional Library Auditorium, 2601 S. Garnett Road (Districts 5 and 6)
-- Aug. 5 - OU-Tulsa Schusterman Center Auditorium, 4502 E. 41
st 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. 51
st St. (District 2)