'West Side' towns partner to draw new neighbors

Tuesday, September 5th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The push to become the next suburban paradise heats up for two towns west of Tulsa.

Sapulpa and Sand Springs are joining forces in an image campaign to tell their “West Side Story”. The campaign is a push to get more families to move to the neighboring suburbs.

The two cities often work together on projects and problem solving. Now they're teaming up to sell others on what they say is great living in their communities and others west of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area.

"We have wonderful school systems, wonderful churches and a wonderful lifestyle here with great infrastructure,” said State Senator Ted Fisher. “We have plenty of water, expanding sewer systems, great highway systems - five four-lane options to Tulsa."

Sand Springs and Sapulpa will be the lead communities in an upcoming regional image campaign to attract growth. It will highlight what Fisher says are the benefits of smaller town living such as older, restored downtown areas and local industry.

"We are a typical, maybe nostalgic community of 50 to 60 years ago that we think would appeal to a lot of people," said Fisher.

Fisher says "nostalgic" is far from "sleepy." A new golf course and luxury housing developments are underway in Sapulpa, and building and new businesses are popping up in other west side towns as well. Fisher says the image campaign wasn't triggered by concern over sluggish growth.

"If you're not growing, you're dying,” said Fisher. “And we are growing all right, but not at the rate that infrastructure would let us grow."

Many residents say they like being close to Tulsa, but what's more important is the quality of life smaller communities’ offer. Jeweler Sam Newport once lived in larger cities, and wouldn't go back.

"I just fell in love with Sand Springs, you know,” said Newport. “The bells, the little parks, and like I said, the nice people. People will actually wave at you and smile."

West side communities say the smiles are but one of many attractions awaiting those willing to give their towns a try.