Tulsans React To 'The Channels' Project Proposal

Wednesday, October 4th 2006, 6:10 am
By: News On 6

The creators of the ambitious Channels Project in Tulsa have more public input to consider.

The group, Tulsa Stakeholders Inc. presented their idea to more than 200 people at a public hearing Tuesday night. It gave the public a chance to voice their support or concerns about the project.

Plans call for a new dam under the 23rd Street Bridge. The project would then create a 40 acre island in the Arkansas River with high and low-rise housing, shops, restaurants and public spaces.

The total cost of the project is $788-million. The developers want taxpayers to pay for at least $600-million of that.

Tulsa resident Dan Hicks: "To me it is the height of irresponsibility to ask the tax payers for close to a billion dollars just so we can say woo-hoo look how cool we are we're building out on a river."

Supporters of The Channels project say they think taxpayers will be making an investment in Tulsa's future. Tulsa resident Gina Kingsley: "I just think it would improve having businesses stay. Come because of it. Stay because of it."

People voiced concerns about flooding, wind power and wildlife along the river. If everything works out, a vote could come as early as next spring.