City Leaders Introduce 'Improve Our Tulsa' Tax Package

Tuesday, September 17th 2013, 1:12 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa City Councilors are pushing for the city's largest capital improvement plan in its history. The $918 million "Improve Our Tulsa" plan will be on the November 12, 2013 ballot.

If approved, street repairs will be made throughout the city with some of the most expensive projects planned in south Tulsa. Those include:

• Widening Yale Avenue from 81st to 91st, and 96th Street South to 101st Street South including the intersection of Yale and 101st Street South

• Widening 81st Street from Sheridan to Memorial

See Full List Of 'Improve Our Tulsa' Projects

And during lunch time and on weekends, Cherry Street is a busy place. With the city's new proposed "Improve Our Tulsa" package, that road will get a facelift.

"Streets are something that everyone uses," said Councilor GT Bynum.

More than half of the $918 million package is dedicated to fixing Tulsa streets. Projects include re-paving roads, repairing bridges and expanding highly traveled areas, like Yale between 81st and 91st.

"We will continue to have streets that are maintained properly, that are able to provide, not only for vehicular traffic, but also commercial traffic. That's part of this whole thing, as well," said Mayor Dewey Bartlett.

This sales tax extension is a continuation of the 2008 "Fix Our Streets" initiative. If passed, the city's current 1.167 percent sales tax will slightly decrease to 1.1 percent.

"It's a small tax cut, but the end dollar amount is larger," Bynum said.

The proposed projects span across the entire city. Another large portion of the money will go toward improving city parks, like Lacy Park in North Tulsa.

"Everything from pools to landscaping to whatever might be necessary to make our parks better," Bartlett said.

8/22/2013 Related Story: Tulsa City Council Approves Compromise On Capital Improvements

Councilor Bynum said they held more than 50 public forums over the past nine months to determine what improvements the community wanted to see.

"Now, what we're asking is all the people that attended those meetings, helped us put this together, we really need their help in talking with their friends, their neighbors, their coworkers," he said.

He said the "Improve Our Tulsa" slogan has a significant meaning.

"We would only work on things that the City of Tulsa, the citizens of Tulsa own, but also we wanted to focus on maintaining things we already have, not building new things," Bynum said.

Also, Bynum said part of the funding will go toward improving public safety.