Tulsa Mayor Wants To See Restaurant On Turkey Mountain
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett is suggesting a restaurant on Turkey Mountain if Vision 2025 funds are directed towards the park.
The mayor says if $5.6 million is going to be used to help buy more land around Turkey Mountain, the public should have more access to the park - more than just mountain bikers and trail runners.
The Riverparks Authority submitted a proposal earlier this summer asking for Vision 2025 funding to acquire more of the land that surrounds the urban wilderness area. At a meeting last week Mayor Dewey Bartlett reacted to that proposal. He asked if a restaurant could be built on top of the mountain in hopes it would allow more people to enjoy the green space.
"Are we limiting too many people?" asked Mayor Dewey Bartlett. "Maybe we might want to have an area on top of the mountain where people can see something. Maybe have a restaurant considered."
Mayor Bartlett's idea is getting push back from Turkey Mountain's users. Colin Tawney says the mountain already serves as an economic driver and recruiting tool for young professionals.
"You don't have to have turnstiles," said Colin Tawney, Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition. "You don't have to have cash registers on things like parks in order to justify their existence."
The mayor says if monies from the Vision 2025 tax renewal are going to fund park expansion, more people should be allowed to enjoy it.
"I do think we need to look at it from a stand point of how can we use it in a responsible way, properly to give more access to people," Bartlett said. "If it's going to be a park, and if it's just going to be available to a very small number of people then I have a difficult time calling it a public park."
Tawney says his group hopes to see a visitor center and trail access area someday, but for now, the goal is to secure the park land from any further development around it.
"It sounds like there's a condition attached to this one particular proposal, if we want to give money to this, we have to put a restaurant on it. I really think that's kind of ignoring what the public was trying to tell this administration and the developer during the whole issue with Simon Malls last spring," said Colin Tawney, Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition.
Of course, this one of many proposals being submitted for Vision 2025. The vote wouldn't happen until next spring.