Development along the Arkansas River in Tulsa hits another milestone this week. An announcement is coming Wednesday that a major private fundraising effort has been successful and that a vote for a county sales tax will be coming as soon as October. The announcement will come Wednesday afternoon along the west bank of the Arkansas River. We will learn then who the big donors are that have pledged the private money to supplement the public money needed to develop the riverbank.
Last month, the George Kaiser Family Foundation announced a plan to raise $100 million that would go along with a county wide sales tax that would collect an estimated $277 million.
Tulsa County officials say the vote will most likely be on or before October 9th. The tax money would be spent to build river infrastructure, at least two new low water dams and three new pedestrian bridges, and it would buy out some land on the west side.
The private money would build public gathering spots including docks reaching out to what would essentially be several lakes created by the low water dams.
The $100 million private money pledged depends on the support of the taxpayers because the private projects won't be practical unless the infrastructure along the river is improved.
The announcement will come late in the afternoon and will include a final version of a project map showing what will be where along the river.
The Tulsa County commissioners, Tulsa's mayor and a broad group of community foundations will be represented at the announcement and the News On 6 will have more details Wednesday afternoon.