Jenks Officials Excited About Economic Opportunity Vision2 Could Provide

Sunday, September 23rd 2012, 7:01 pm
By: Tess Maune

The City of Jenks is hoping the Arkansas River will soon be filled with water.

The city is looking toward Vision2 funding to make that happen.

If Tulsa County voters say 'yes' to Vision2 in November, $9.3 million would go to the City of Jenks for projects of its choice.

9/20/12 Related Story: Vision2 List Goes Through Another Draft As Tulsa Councilors Break Down Needs

Jenks leaders say they plan to put a big emphasis on the river district.

The City of Jenks has its sights set on changing the scenery on the southern section of the Arkansas River that runs through Tulsa County.

"With the aquarium, we started what you could say riverfront development and we know that that's going to be a key in this area," Jenks City Attorney Stephan Oakley said.

Oakley said Jenks needs to bring in more tourism to boost revenue.

"We're ringed by Tulsa and Glenpool with your big box stores, etc., so the sales tax dollars are going into many of those areas," Oakley said.

Filling up the very low Arkansas river, by building a dam, could be key in attracting visitors to the waterfront," Oakley said.

"We have to look a little different at revenue source and the main one being tourism as a destination center, so a lot of that will be along the Arkansas River," Oakley said.

Jenks has yet to come up with how much money its is willing pour into the river.

But, on Wednesday, the Tulsa City Council said it's looking at setting aside $71 million in Vision2 funding to go toward river development.

Oakley says the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, which owns some of the land along the river bank, may also chip in.

The tribe is invested in the area for many reasons, but partly because it purchased the Jenks Riverwalk Crossing in April in a Tulsa County Sheriff's foreclosed property auction. Chief George Tiger was the successful - and only - bidder at $11.5 million.

"The Muscogee Creek Nation has been very positive as to wanting to see water in the river, you might say," Oakley said.

Jenks has put together a list of other projects that might see Vision2 funding, including the development of an arts district, improving the aquarium and adding a trolly system in town.

On Monday, several Tulsa City Council members are set to meet with the Jenks mayor and Muscogee (Creek) Nation chief to discuss sharing resources.

9/3/2012 Related Story: Opposition Emerges To Tulsa Vision2 Project

Supporters of Vision 2

Opponents of Vision 2