The Council was never the hold-up

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Cast your minds back a few months, when the Council's Reform Alliance majority was concerned to see that property owners got a fair shake from the City as the City acquired land for the new arena between Denver and Frisco, 1st and 3rd. Bob Poe, Chairman of the Tulsa Metro Chamber, claimed that the Council's refusal to proceed with condemnation was costing $10,000 a day by delaying the arena project. There were claims that the Council was part of a conspiracy to obstruct the completion and success of Vision 2025 -- presumably they were being paid by Oklahoma City or Wichita.

Now we know, as the Tulsa Beacon reported this week, that the City can't complete acquisition of the land without the consent of the Federal Government, which owns two parcels and is insisting that the City bear the entire cost of relocation as a condition for selling the land to the City. The City cannot condemn federal property.

The site has plenty of other problems. It isn't suited to encouraging nearby development, landlocked as it is by government facilities. An important entrance into downtown, the 2nd Street exit from the Inner Dispersal Loop, will dead-end into the arena, instead of feeding into a one-way street that runs through downtown, past the Williams Center and the Blue Dome District and connects back into the IDL.

Mike Buchert, Bob Poe, and many others owe the Reform Alliance councilors an apology for accusing them of stopping progress on the arena. That blame goes to whoever is responsible for not working things out with the Feds before the arena location was set in stone.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 13, 2005 9:55 PM.

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