City Leaders State Vision 2025 Successes

Thursday, September 20th 2007, 4:26 pm
By: News On 6

Has the Vision 2025 project been a success? That's what Tulsa city leaders are looking at as the project turns 4 years old this month. News On 6 Reporter Steve Berg reports this year is different because of the upcoming river vote. The two projects have become intertwined and opponents of the river plan have sometimes included the Vision Plan in their arguments.

The vision main proponents say three major misconceptions have emerged:

That low-water dams were to be funded by Vision 2025
That the river plan can be paid for with surplus money from Vision 2025
And that street repairs should come before the river plan

Doug Collins is a lifelong Tulsan, who says he's frustrated by the misconceptions. And he says he wants to clear them up. Doug Collins has a motto:

"It's easy to say something because you believe it to be so. It's harder to say something because you know it to be so. If you don't know it to be so, you shouldn't say anything at all," says Doug Collins.

For example, he says, there's a persistent belief that new low-water dams were already funded by Vision 2025.

Vision did allocate 5.6 million dollars toward the construction of low-water dams, but Collins says they never intended that figure to be construed as the total pricetag. That's because he says 5 million dollars simply isn't enough to build two dams. The money is going to be used to match any federal grants for dam construction and for engineering studies. So far, they've spent about 300 thousand dollars.

"Therefore, we have not done much in the way of spending any of the 2025 Vision dollars for river projects," says Doug Collins.

Misconception number two, Collins says, is the idea that a surplus of Vision Tax revenue can be used to fund the river project.

He says that right now there is no surplus. Tax collections have been better than expected for the past couple of years. But he says that could quickly change if the economy slows down. And he says they still have around 55 million dollars worth of Vision costs to pay for.

"As far as funds available for river development projects, there simply at this time is too early to tell whether there's going to be a surplus," states Doug Collins.

While it's not directly related to Vision 2025, Collins says he's most frustrated by the idea of substituting street repair for river projects, because he says there will never be a one-time solution to street repair.

"You know you're going to have to take care of streets until we stop having winters and summers in Oklahoma. Next year, that issue would still be there. Ten years from now, that issue would still be there" says Doug Collins.

If we don't get federal funds for the river and if the river plan doesn't pass then Collins says the 5 million dollars in Vision 2025 river money will go to some other Vision project.

For more information about Vision 2025, click here.

Watch the video: City Leaders Update Vision 2025 Progress