The debate continues over the proposed Arkansas River development tax. It will not be voted on until October, but the campaign to influence voters is well underway. The News On 6's Chris Wright reports supporters of river development have hired a public relations firm and launched a pro-tax web site. On the other side of the fence, the bloggers are also trying to make their voice heard.
Those pushing for the river tax say their new web site, www.ourriveryes.com, will be crucial during the buildup to the October 9th vote.
"Web sites today has changed the way that we inform voters, citizens, business leaders, across the city and the region," said Sheila Curley with the Tulsa Metro Chamber.
The web site for river development, www.ourriveryes.com, is informing voters by providing an overview of the $393 million proposed project. If passed, the money would go towards building a series of low-water dams, improving facilities on the river and attracting new businesses. Another section of the web site provides renderings of what work will be done, and where it will be done on the Arkansas River. There's also the top 10 reason to vote yes, links to river tax news stories and ways to get involved in the campaign.
With such a big project and so much money at stake, the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce says it's important to get as much information out about river development to as many people as possible, and they feel their web site is the best way to do that.
"We're looking for people to go visit ourriveryes.com and really delve into some of this information, and find out why this proposal is such a great opportunity for our community," Curley said.
On the other hand, there is also a website against the river tax, www.notulsarivertax.com. The web site argues that the city has its priorities all wrong. Notulsarivertax.com says Tulsa County should fix the streets, hire more police, then worry about river development.
And it appears those in favor of the river development tax still have some work to do. A recent News On 6, "Tulsa World" poll shows that 52% of Tulsans are against the plan.