Work begins soon on Tulsa's 'voter approved' Vision plan

Wednesday, September 10th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Since the Vision tax campaign is over, the building can start on the projects in the Vision package.

Tulsa County voters approved all four Vision plans Tuesday - so what's next? News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says a group called Tulsa Now met Wednesday to talk about how the Vision plan and how it might affect neighborhoods.

The voters approved a billion dollars of taxes Tuesday to make some changes - some of them changes you'll see very soon. Instead of talking about what it might do - politicians now can talk about what the Vision plan will do.

Fresh off what he calls a landslide victory - the commissioner who led the county side of the campaign says Tulsans will see progress soon. Tulsa County Commissioner Bob Dick, “some of them you'll see very quickly - fairgrounds, OU, NSU, all have plans ready to go, so you'll see construction start there in January and buildings going up.”

The Tulsa Air and Space Museum plans on being the first Vision related attraction to open. They'll get $2 million for a planetarium that Lee Raney says they plan to open late next year. “It's exciting to know the city is making this move and that as a community we're going to start moving ahead.”

While some projects can get off the ground immediately, the arena will take much longer. It's going to be built on the land just north of the Convention Center, covering four city blocks, about the same size as the one in Oklahoma City. The first step for the arena is to buy the land. While that's happening, architects will work on the design.

Commissioners expect the Arena and Convention Center project to take at least three years, maybe as long as five. Most of the other projects in the Vision package - all those buildings for higher education and projects in the parks - should be done by then - leaving the arena as the capstone of the Vision package.

Of course - if we get Boeing that would be much more important than the arena. The plans for the river could take some time - there's a couple of years worth of studies that need to be done before much of anything can happen there.

The tax goes into effect January 1st - some of these project leaders plan to break ground the same day.