Tulsa City Councilors Discuss Ideas For Vision2 Funds

Thursday, September 13th 2012, 10:30 pm
By: Tess Maune

With time running out, the City of Tulsa is trying to hammer out where its Vision2 dollars would be spent if it is passed in November.

The concern is that there is a lot of money on the line and very little time to select which future city projects would get that funding.

The vision for Vision2 is blurry in the City of Tulsa.

"It's a tough spot to be in, and there's no question that we're all a little bit nervous about going forward with this," said City Councilor Blake Ewing.

Over the next 15 days, Tulsa City Council is pressed with picking which projects will become part of their Vision2 package.

"Right now, we're having to do, in about a one month period of time, what you would normally take a year doing," said Chairman GT Bynum.

9/5/2012 Related Story: City Leaders Hear Citizen Ideas At Vision2 Public Forum

If passed, the city would lock up more than $180 million in county taxpayer funding.

That's money that would be paid out over the next two decades.

"We have to think about, when we're putting this list together, what will our needs be five years from now and that's a tough thing to try to do," Ewing said.

The council is working against the clock.

Council chairman, GT Bynum said he hopes to have a resolution drafted by September 20, with the final proposal signed on the on September 27.

While Bynum admits it's not enough time, he assures the selection process will be thorough.

"It's important that we focus on projects that are going to be transformative for Tulsa and that are going to be worth spending money for two decades," Bynum said.

Next Wednesday, planners from various projects around the city will be invited to share their vision.

That's also when the city will ask the tough questions.

"How much are they asking for, how much are the project costs, what are the other sources of money for this project, and what will be the impact on our community?" Bynum said.

Tulsans are being asked to join in on the discussion.

Over the next two weeks, a handful of public hearings are set, so that, come Election Day, voters can cast their ballot, knowing exactly where their money will go.

"The best thing for the city of Tulsa would be an informed group of citizens making the decisions that shape our future," said Ewing.

In the coming weeks, council members are encouraging Tulsans to call in with any questions, concerns or ideas they may have.

Residents can submit Vision2 project ideas by calling the Customer Care Center at 918-596-2100.

The remaining public hearings are below:

Wednesday, September 19, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Thursday, September 20, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Tuesday, September 25, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 27, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

All meetings will take place in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, 175 East 2nd Street.