What Is In The Stimulus Bill For Tulsa County?

Friday, February 13th 2009, 5:56 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- As Congress votes, city and county government wait to see what they'll get and when.  What is in the bill for Tulsa County?

Remember those wish lists that local governments sent to Washington?  It turns out that was really just to establish priorities in broad categories.  So far, the City of Tulsa and Tulsa County aren't sure if any specific projects they want are included or if they'll have to start all over competing for the dollars.

Tulsa County Chief Deputy Terry Simonson hopes he'll find out soon what's in the stimulus bill, but says so far, no one sure.

"We don't necessarily think they're just going to send money.  You're going to have to follow regulations and maybe it's a grant, maybe it's a loan, and that's the key, which doors do you knock on, what influence does your delegation have to get some of those monies," said Tulsa County Chief Deputy Terry Simonson.

And at the City of Tulsa, it's their understanding as well that the process has just started.

"You're going to have to work both in Oklahoma City and the federal agencies in some cases, to get those dollars," said Tulsa Economic Officer Mike Bunney.

The stimulus bill has plenty of earmarks, but which ones will benefit Oklahoma remain unclear. 

Senator Tom Coburn criticized the whole process on Friday, saying it was out of control spending that the country cannot afford.

"In my state, the average family income is below what the federal government is going to spend with this bill.  The average family income in under $36,000, and yet with this bill we're going to spend $38,000 per family in this country," said Senator Tom Coburn.

The county and city aren't sure yet how much will come back to Tulsa or what it will pay for.

"We had five or six top projects, the Juvenile Justice Center was the first one, we'll have to wait and see whether or not even pieces of that are funded," said Tulsa County Chief Deputy Terry Simonson.

See the latest update from Congress that went to the City of Tulsa, spelling out the spending for broad categories.  It does not list specific projects.

See Tom Coburn's list of earmarks he says are in what's being voted on.