Alternative Proposal For 'The Channels' Project Announced

Monday, October 30th 2006, 2:39 pm
By: News On 6

Arkansas River development is a hot topic in Tulsa. Now, there's a nearly $800 million project on the table to push interest in the river even further.
But some say the proposed Channels Project will cost taxpayers way too much.

News on 6 anchor Terry Hood sat down with one opponent who says he has a better plan in mind.

Architect Dan Hicks says he's serious about river development but he doesn't think taxpayers should foot the bill, and he say's he's not the only one. "I get at least two phone calls a day from people wanting me to come to their house and bring one of these no river tax signs. I get calls from engineers and people whose dad's used to work for the corps of engineers telling me what a crazy idea it is to build in this river," said Hicks.

Hicks says 'The Channel's' plan is flawed by design, so he came up with his own.

The architect says his model is just one example of a cheaper development project on the banks of the river as opposed to Islands in the middle. "I'm not suggesting for a moment I've got ready to go plans on this. The concept here is simply rather than build in the river, instead of building in the river, fresh water canals and fountains could be developed on the existing river bank at a fraction of the cost of the channels, and my key here is without raising taxes," Hicks said.

The taxes, the cost, and the location aren't the only problems Hicks has with the Channels. "Through the years we've seen all these projects that have distracted Tulsa and in that time we haven't fixed our streets. We have crumbling bridges on our heads, and we haven't dealt with crime like we should"

‘The Channels’ project is expected to cost nearly $800 million, with $600 million coming out of taxpayers pockets.

Dan Hicks estimates a plan like his could cost less than $100 million.

Channels opponents and enthusiasts may all have a chance to make their voices heard. The river island plan could go to a vote of the people as early as next March.