River Development Project To Be Discussed

Monday, December 3rd 2007, 6:39 am
By: News On 6

Jenks debates a billion dollar business boom. The city held its first public meeting on a billion dollar plan to develop the Arkansas River Monday night. The News On 6’s Ashli Sims reports the massive development hinges on a $294 million tax incentive plan that's now before the city council. Monday night was the first opportunity for Jenks residents to comment on the proposed river development plan.

Dozens showed up and they got a glimpse at some new computer models of just what River District would look like. The 350 acre project would include a new home for the Tulsa Drillers, retail and office space and condos.

A second video shown at the meeting highlighted one of the development's center pieces, a performance fountain about the size of a football field. The city manager showed the audience two designs. Both shoot water 200 feet in the air and would be set to music.

To make this development happen, the City of Jenks wants to use a tax increment financing or TIF district. A TIF district freezes the property tax rate at its current level. And, any taxes collected above that level are given back to the developers to help pay for infrastructure.

Some folks think it's worth the investment. Others say the price tag is too high and the time frame, expected to be 18 years, is too long.

Jenks school leaders say the billion dollar development is a great idea, one that will attract families and students. But, they say a TIF freezes their property tax funding and limits how much bond money they can raise. They feel the result could be more students, but fewer resources to educate those additional pupils.

Watch the video: Jenks Residents Learn About TIF Plan

Related stories:

11/7/2007 City And School District Discuss Development

11/13/2007 River District Clears A Hurdle