Neighbors Want Voices Heard In Rebirth Of Green Country Park
TULSA, Oklahoma - The same people who fought a Tulsa park's demise are now fighting its rebirth. At a city council meeting Thursday, some questioned how the city is spending its money to bring the park back to life.
It's not that the city doesn't have some money to spend on B.C. Franklin Park, it's how they're going to spend it that has the neighbors upset. They don't want a splash pad, they want someone to listen to them.
There's not much left of B.C. Franklin Park except the land. There used to be a recreation center and working pool, but the center was demolished and the pool is closed and planned for demolition to save money.
It's what's going to replace it that has some in the neighborhood upset. They want to have at least some say in what goes in the new park.
At Thursday's city council meeting a group of residents spoke out against the city's plan for Franklin, which includes a $480,000 water feature as the main attraction.
With about $800,000 to spend in all on the park improvements, that doesn't leave much money for anything else. Some residents believe there was surely money to rebuild the rec center.
City Councilor Phil Lakin said he plans to ask for a complete accounting of the money available for Franklin, and the council assured residents their voices would be heard.
Councilor Jack Henderson asked for everyone supporting Franklin to stand, and it was a sizable crowd.
Henderson has unsuccessfully protested almost every demolition and said all along it's been about the community having input.
"So we need to get on the same page on how we fund parks and that will be a better way to do it," Henderson said.
The residents had been told earlier they had about three weeks to come up with a plan. The councilors said they'll make sure the timeline is extended and that money spent on Franklin has the support of the people who live around it.