City Council Gets Look At Future Home

Thursday, April 24th 2008, 6:59 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa's city council got a firsthand look at what will be their new home in a few months.  On Thursday, they toured One Technology Center, the former Wil-Tel building that will soon be city hall.

The News On 6's Steve Berg reports there's never been any question the building is nice.

The question that some councilors have, is it too nice?

From the cavernous space of the future council chamber, to the emergency generators in the mechanical room, to a tiny, sticky note where the mayor's office will go, the councilors took in all the views.

"Whoever built it spent a lot of money to build it, that's for sure," said Tulsa City Councilor Bill Christiansen.

Councilor Christiansen voted in favor of moving city hall, but not without a few reservations.

"My real impression to be honest with you is we're moving into a million-dollar building on a $100,000 budget," said Christiansen.

New councilor G.T. Bynum wasn't around back when the decision was made to buy the building. And he too worries if priorities are in the right place.

"I have a little bit of a problem with driving on the streets that I do to get to this building and then walking into this building and knowing that this is going to be city hall," said Bynum.

Christiansen does say though it will boost the city's image from a marketing standpoint.

"Y'know if we bring outside companies in that are thinking about moving to Tulsa, it's obviously more impressive than the existing city hall, which I think that's a positive thing," said Christiansen.

Those for the move also say the old city hall site can be sold to developers to help pay for the new city hall.

Over the years, the new city hall is also expected to save millions in energy bills as well as renovations that would have to have been made to the old city hall.  And the plan is to lease excess space in the building to private companies to generate revenue.

"I hope the figures are right, and that the future plans are correct, and that we occupy the building with private people so that we can pay for the building," said Christiansen.

One department has already moved in. Two more will start moving in this weekend. The councilors plan on moving in sometime in September.