City Leaders Ask For Residents' Tulsa Vision
TULSA, Oklahoma - If a current sales tax is renewed next year, city leaders are looking for ideas on the best way to spend the money, and they want to hear from you.
The first of four public hearings was held Monday and according to Tulsa City Councilor, Blake Ewing, no idea is a bad idea.
President of the Pearl District Association, Leanne Benton, was the first speaking at the meeting Monday night and got things rolling with an idea to improve the district.
"We want Tulsa to jump into the 21st Century with this project," she said.
The group is pushing for 6th Street to be changed into a bustling neighborhood of homes and businesses with a canal running down the middle; the Pearl District is located in a flood plain and the canal would help alleviate flood issues.
"We are trying to find cool places to walk, and eat, and live and have business. The canal is just a neat creative way to do that," Benton said.
The concept has been in the research and planning phase for years, and now Benton hopes this opportunity will get it completed.
"We want that same collaborative atmosphere, and that is why we are supporting the council's challenge to come up with some big ideas," she said.
City leaders have spent a lot of money on infrastructure, like road improvements, and will continue to do so; however, if voters approve the extension of the Vision 2025 sales tax, they hope to focus on things like economic development and how to best use areas of the city that now sit empty.
They'd also like some ideas on how to improve walkability and public transportation.
"Young people who grew up here aren't going to want to leave. People who grew up somewhere else will want to come here to see what’s going on," Ewing said.
Ewing said it’s all about keeping an open mind.
"To see an idea that is a little crazy, but believing in ourselves - can we be a city that everyone is talking about? I think we can,” he said.
Someone also pitched an idea of a visitor center downtown in one of the older, historic buildings.