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Bus Tour Gives Arkansas River Task Force First-Hand Look At Issues

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Thursday the Arkansas River Task Force boarded a bus so they could see first-hand some of the sites they've been discussing. Thursday the Arkansas River Task Force boarded a bus so they could see first-hand some of the sites they've been discussing.
G.T. Bynum is chairman of the task force that's been meeting and talking about every aspect of the water in the river issue. G.T. Bynum is chairman of the task force that's been meeting and talking about every aspect of the water in the river issue.
Next is a meeting on September 11th to begin crafting a final proposal, prioritizing and paring down the cost. Next is a meeting on September 11th to begin crafting a final proposal, prioritizing and paring down the cost.
SAND SPRINGS, Oklahoma -

For about nine months now the Tulsa City Council's Arkansas River Task Force has been meeting, discussing plans to finally get water in the river.

Thursday they boarded a bus so they could see first-hand some of the sites they've been discussing.

The view at the pedestrian bridge gives an idea about what the Arkansas River might look like if somehow, sometime, someone figured out how to get a consistent amount of water in there all the time.

7/17/2014 Related Story: Task Force Discusses Proposals To Keep Water In Arkansas River

"This is right here in the middle of Tulsa and we haven't done anything with it for 50 years,” said City Councilor G.T. Bynum.

Bynum is chairman of the task force that's been meeting and talking about every aspect of the water in the river issue - from conservation, least terns, storm water and of course low water dams.

“Put water in the river and create more opportunity for development,” Bynum said.

Not so much apartments and condos, but recreation and other development.

"The great treasure of this is the natural beauty of it, it's not just the water, it's everything around it," Bynum said.

So with that in mind, the task force boarded a bus and headed for Sand Springs to get a first-hand look at the issues they've been talking about.

One of those issues, the Levee system and its aging infrastructure. Much of that could be upgraded or replaced as part of this overall project; expensive, but Levee Commissioner Todd Kilpatrick said it's worth it.

Sand Springs would be the site for one of four low water dams which would be built between Keystone Dam and Bixby and would create a series of lakes.

"This space would be much deeper; you could have boats on it,” said Bynum.

There would be similar dams in Jenks and in Bixby and the bus tour included stops in those communities as well.

Lots of items on the agenda - water in the river is the main one - turning an often times eyesore into a sight for sore eyes.

Next is a meeting on September 11th to begin crafting a final proposal, prioritizing and paring down the cost. 

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