Tulsa County voters approved the Vision 2025 package one year ago this week. The sales tax started back in January - and now it's starting to pay for projects.
News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says for the most part - they still exist just on paper. The dozens of Vision 2025 projects are almost all still in the planning stage.
The people who crafted the Vision package a year ago gathered to reassure the public that something is happening. Tulsa County Commissioner Randi Miller: "It's taken a year to get the design work done on these projects and soon you're going to see groundbreakings everywhere.â€
A few small projects have already started. The city of Collinsville broke ground on the latest one Wednesday - a new fire station paid for by the Vision tax. It replaces the old one that burned.
The biggest project of them all, the arena, is still early in the design stage. There's still land to be purchased and cleared - but some businesses have already opened up elsewhere. Gellco Shoes moved out and reopened at 8th and Detroit. The mayor says the arena - and everything else - is on track. Mayor Bill LaFortune: "And you're going to see next year and the next - things being built -- there's going to be cranes all over the county."
The Vision tax collection is already over $23-million, just through the end of July - and it's got more than 12 years to go.
The public investment is encouraging private investment - say several people who ought to know - like the manager of the Doubletree Downtown, Robert Watson: "They're planning to spend $4-million to renovate our hotel and it's all because of Vision 2025."