Some Costs, Funding for Arkansas River Projects Still Uncertain

Apr 10, 2014

Tulsa's river task force is still waiting to hear what it will cost to prepare the city's storm water system and the riverbanks for water in the river, but communities may be able to use a Vision 2025 surplus for some projects.
Credit File photo / KWGS

Tulsa’s river task force will wait at least another month for a firm estimate on how much it will cost to prepare the city’s storm water system for water in the river.

Gaylon Pinc with the Program Management Group gave the group a ballpark estimate and said he’s relieved it wasn’t in the tens of millions of dollars range.

"We're probably looking at a million or less to do the storm sewers, perhaps a couple million if we did all of the bad banks stabilization work," Pinc said. "That's a small part when you're looking at a $43 million dam reconstruction part with recreational features."

A survey shows about 10 percent of the Arkansas River’s 84 miles of shoreline will need stabilizing.

Those projects and others designed to put water in the river could get a funding boost from a Vision 2025 surplus.

The "medium" surplus is around $54 million. Once county commissioners formally acknowledge it, the Vision Authority will decide how to spend it.

Vision 2025 Program Director Kirby Crowe says they’ll have some restrictions, though.

"To say just, blanketly, 'Let's put it to the river, it fits' — you have to look at the individual benefit of the project and make sure it does to avoid a taxpayer suit," Crowe said.

The Vision Authority consists of representatives from communities throughout Tulsa County, many of which have already invested in the river.