River rolls on

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"There's no Plan B. River development is over." -- County Commissioner Randi Miller, October 10, 2007


"Six Companies vie for Arkansas River Projects"
-- Tulsa World, March 13, 2008, p. A-8

Thursday's story notes that $9.5 million from the Vision 2025 sales tax and $650,000 from Four to Fix the County 2006 are available for dam work and reports a cost estimate of $30 million per dam. (That number keeps getting bigger. It was $27.5 million during the river tax campaign.) The bids are for pre-construction work; presumably the pre-construction work will lead to a more concrete, itemized estimate of costs for the actual dam construction.

The Whirled's slant on this issue is evident in the second paragraph of the story:

In December, county commissioner chose to move forward with the permitting, design and engineering work despite an October vote in which county residents rejected a $282 million plan to build the dams, which are proposed for Jenks and Sand Springs, and to modify Zink Dam.

First of all, it wasn't a plan on the ballot. It was a county sales tax increase, and the voters rejected that tax increase. Second, it would be more accurate to say, "a $282 million tax, $68 million of which would have paid for the two new dams and improvements to Zink Dam"

Also in yesterday's paper, on p. A-11, we learn that the least tern nesting islands are being rebuilt, the kayaking run near the PSO plant is being improved, and junk and debris are being removed from the river. All these improvements are happening without the passage of a new sales tax. Some of the funds are coming from private companies, some from a fine paid by the Sinclair refinery. County crews are doing the work on the island -- presumably the workers were already drawing a county paycheck -- it appears its being handled within existing budgets.

It's amazing how the constraint of a budget can inspire creative ways to get things done.

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2 Comments

Bob said:

The new private investment along the River is a pump-priming exercise for the upcoming Kaiser River Tax II.

A lot of big egos of the local ruling aristrocracy and their paid paladins got stepped on when Tulsa County Voters rejected Kaiser River Tax #1 back last October.

And, they just ain't gonna let it go.......

Roy said:

Randi humbled me. As I listened to her at one meeting regarding river development, I realized she really believed the contradictions she spoke. She wasn't presenting stand up comedy shtick. She really believed it. If someone with what I recognized as real ability and awareness could believe what she did, what hope did I have? What might keep me from at least equal if not greater blindness?

Tongue in cheek answer (but don't miss the genuine appreciation): Batesline.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 14, 2008 7:25 AM.

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