BA Mayor Encourages Infrastructure Bills To Continue Rose District Development

Monday, May 23rd 2016, 11:04 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

The Mayor of Broken Arrow is back from Washington, D.C., where he put the city in a national spotlight.

While there with the National League of Cities, he focused on the Rose District and all it's done for economic development and said more is on the way.

Mayor Craig Thurmond said the main goal of the trip was to encourage lawmakers to pass bills on infrastructure - he said he also got to do a little bragging on the Rose District.

Nouveau Chocolat employee Michelle Turner said she saw about 20 customers Monday - two years ago it was another story.

"Monday would probably be no one, to be honest," she said.

Turner said all of the development to the Rose District over the past few years has made a difference in business.

That's exactly what Thurmond said he highlighted while in D.C. - how infrastructure has spurred economic development.

"We're getting a lot of national exposure for our successes," he said.

And he wants to keep the success going.

Thurmond asked lawmakers for support on a $1.2 million federal grant, which would go toward bike trails along Main Street and connect to the Creek Turnpike down Elm Street.

"You could ride the bike trail from Tulsa, or wherever you wanted to go, from NSU, and you could come down Elm Street and come down to the Rose District," he said.

Thurmond said the goal is to have trails just about everywhere so people can ride wherever they want. But, in the meantime, the Rose District is growing by three blocks to the south and one block to the north.

"A lot of proposals for different things - there's a couple more restaurants and a bakery that I believe will open up in about a week or two," the mayor said.

Turner said she welcomes the changes.

"Originally, it used to be, really just bare. And so it's really great to just see all the people enjoying, having somewhere they can go and do things," she said.

The city also applied for a $5 million grant to fix County Line Road from Kenosha to Houston, which, the mayor said isn't safe right now.