Funding agreement reached on new Arkansas River dam by Tulsa, Jenks and Creek Nation
BY BRIAN BARBER World Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
9/26/12 at 7:13 AM
Read more about the proposal and the status of Vision 2025 projects.
Tulsa, Jenks and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation reached a handshake funding agreement Tuesday to build a $60 million dam across the Arkansas River between south Tulsa and Jenks, officials told the Tulsa World.
Tulsa's $30 million share of the cost would come from its $158 million quality-of-life allocation from the proposed Tulsa County Vision2 package, if it's approved by voters Nov. 6, Council Chairman G.T. Bynum said.
The Tulsa City Council's draft Vision2 projects list includes $71 million for dams, including $41 million to improve the Zink Dam and $30 million to partner with other entities on the south Tulsa-Jenks dam.
Jenks and Creek Nation officials haven't yet agreed on how to split their $30 million share of the cost, Jenks Mayor Vic Vreeland said.
Jenks has some possible funding options: its potential $9.2 million Vision2 quality-of-life share, a tax increment financing district and any balance left over from the Vision 2025 initiative, Vreeland said.
The Jenks City Council will determine how to proceed, he said. "We've got plenty of time to figure out how we're going to do it," Vreeland said. "But this appears to be the best shot we're going to have at getting it done."
Creek Nation officials weren't available for comment Tuesday.
The tribe operates the River Spirit Casino complex on the east side of the river and earlier this year bought the RiverWalk Crossing shopping, entertainment and dining center on the river's west bank in Jenks.
The dam would be built between 102nd and 105th streets, with the exact location dependant on the final design and hydraulics, officials said.
If the Vision2 initiative passes, making funding available, Bynum said, it will provide "an opportunity for an unprecedented collaborative effort" among the three entities.
Bynum organized Tuesday's meeting, which included Tulsa City Councilors Phil Lakin and Jeannie Cue, Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett, Creek Nation Principal Chief George Tiger, Vreeland and others.
"I'm encouraged by the fact that no matter who you talk to," Bynum said, "everyone agrees that building those dams will be a transformative event for this whole region - particularly for the city of Tulsa, Jenks and the Creek Nation.
"You have cities and a tribal government working hand in hand to better our community. It's fantastic."
During the Tulsa council's process of putting together its draft list of Vision2 projects last week, Bynum pushed for a minimum $30 million allocation toward building the south Tulsa dam. He argued that enough should be set aside to make sure it gets done if Vision2 is approved.
"This has been talked about for years, and now it's time to get it accomplished," he said.
Election date: Nov. 6
Amount: $748.8 million
Tax impact: Extension of 0.6 percent Vision 2025 sales tax from 2017 through 2029
PROPOSITION 1: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Airport industrial complex buildings and infrastructure: $122 million
Airport industrial complex equipment: $132 million
Closing fund: $52.942 million
Bond costs and interest: $79.938 million
PROPOSITION 2: QUALITY-OF-LIFE IMPROVEMENTS
Tulsa County: $92 million
Tulsa: $157.92 million
Bixby: $11.3 million
Broken Arrow: $44.1 million
Collinsville: $3 million
Glenpool: $5.9 million
Jenks: $9.2 million
Owasso: $14.38 million
Sand Springs: $10.1 million
Skiatook: $1.16 million
Bond costs and interest: $12 million
Original Print Headline: Funding outlined for new dam
Brian Barber 918-581-8322