Final Tulsa Stimulus List Released

Friday, January 9th 2009, 7:11 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The City of Tulsa on Friday afternoon released its final wish list of projects that might be funded under President Elect Obama's economic stimulus plan.  The list totals $944 million.

Friday was the deadline for cities to send their lists to Washington.  And, Tulsa's mayor isn't being shy about asking for a lot; in fact, it's a lot more than most any other city.

Bill Cartwright heads just one city department in Tulsa, but his part of the economic stimulus wish list totals $13 million.  He hopes Tulsa Transit can get some new buses out of the deal.

"Couldn't come at a better time for us, because now it gives us the opportunity to replace some buses that are coming up to be replaced in the near future for which there aren't any other funds available," said Tulsa Transit General Manager Bill Cartwright.

Transit is a small part of Tulsa's overall request, which is one of the largest of any city in the United States.

The Tulsa list is tops for Oklahoma and is almost double Oklahoma City.  But, at least six other cities have requests in and more are likely to come as the list is finalized and sent on to the Congress and President-elect.

Tulsa wants $54 million to buy the federal building so the land can be cleared and redeveloped since it's next door to the BOK Center.  There's $3 million on the list to build 10 new splash pads at city parks.  The city wants $5 million to improve railroad crossings downtown, so trains won't have to blow their horns and disturb people who live downtown.  

And, there's a $270,000 request to dredge a pond in Owen Park because it's almost filled with silt.

One of the few requirements for the list is that it contain things that can happen quickly.

"We've been told this has to be projects ready to go in 90 days.  So, that has helped us target the number of vehicles we can request under this program," said Tulsa Transit General Manager Bill Cartwright.