A Plan For Fixing Tulsa's Streets

Wednesday, May 14th 2008, 10:24 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa voters could soon cast their ballots to improve city streets.  News On anchor Jennifer Loren reports Mayor Kathy Taylor and city councilors hope they've come up with a plan voters will like to fix Tulsa's streets without raising taxes.

Tulsa residents have made it clear: it's past time to fix the streets.  Tulsa's mayor agrees.

"If we do not get our streets back in the right pavement condition index, it's going to continue to build a mountain of expense that will be even more expensive every year as they further deteriorate and the quality will simply not be acceptable," said Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor.

That's why the mayor and Tulsa City Councilors hope to do something about the bad roads now.  They're working on a proposal to fix Tulsa's streets.  It would go on a July ballot, ultimately leaving it up to voters.  And, the mayor thinks voters will embrace the plan.

"We will not increase the sales tax. We just all have agreed that that is too burdensome on our citizens, that what we need to do is redeploy the sales tax that we currently have and use for street maintenance," said Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor.

At this point, the proposal would extend the current third penny sales tax and the city's general obligation bond when they expire.  But, some voters aren't buying it.

"I believe we're over-taxed now. The money is somewhere and they need to pull it out of the reserves and spend it where it belongs," said voter LeMon Banks.

Other voters don't care where the money comes from, including their own pockets, as long as potholes go away.

"I'd vote yes. Cause they need the money and we need better roads. So why not vote and get better roads?" said voter Ricky Arthur.

City leaders hope the sooner the proposal gets to voters, the sooner the roads will be repaired.

The city council will hear public comments on the subject at their weekly meetings.  Meanwhile, town hall meetings will be held in each district, answering any questions voters have about the proposal.