Bixby bridge a sweet deal for developers, bad deal for taxpayers

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The South Tulsa Citizens Coalition had an independent firm look at the revenue projections for the Bixby private toll bridge, and found that over the 75-year life of the agreement between Infrastructure Ventures, Inc. (IVI) and the Tulsa County Board of Commissioners, IVI will net $658 million in profit, while Tulsa County will see only $133 million as their share. Here's a Download link to the analysis (PDF file, Adobe Reader required), which was performed by George K. Baum & Company, Inc., and below is the accompanying press release from the South Tulsa Citizens Coalition:

The South Tulsa Citizens Coalition (“STCC”) requested a detailed financial analysis of the Toll Bridge Agreement made between Tulsa County and Infrastructure Venture I, L.L.C. (“IVI”). The financial analysis was prepared by George K. Baum & Company, Inc. (“GKB”), a leading investment banking firm in the area of transportation finance.

The analysis concludes that IVI will net $658 Million in profit with the County only receiving $133 Million over the life of the agreement. If the County had chosen to “publicly finance” this bridge, over 75 years the total net revenue to the County would have been $800 Million. If the County chose to stop collecting tolls on the bridge once it was paid for, the bridge would be free after 30 years at a total cost of only $35 Million plus financing costs.

STCC spokesperson, Michael Covey, said “This is an outrage. Is there no leadership at the County level looking out for the interests of the taxpayers? The 75 year IVI agreement soaks the citizens of Tulsa County out of over half a billion dollars more than is needed to build this bridge, and of that money the County Commissioners gave away $658 Million to their buddies. I am calling for an investigation into the Tulsa County Commissioners handling of this bridge. We either have an abuse of power, or financial incompetence, and neither is good for the taxpayers, or toll payers of Tulsa!”

A meeting for citizens concerned about the bridge will be held next Monday night, July 25th at 7 p.m. at St. James United Methodist Church, 111th and Yale.

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The Oklahoman reports this morning that a study commissioned by Infrastructure Ventures, Inc. indicates that IVI's proposed private toll bridge over the Arkansas River between Bixby and Tulsa will produce... Read More

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 22, 2005 12:10 AM.

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