Task Force Hears From Riverfront Businesses

Mar 13, 2014

Sharon King Davis talks to the River Task Force this morning.
Credit KWGS News/Tgov

Tulsa's river task force heard today from riverfront businesses about the impact low-water dams would have on them. 

Sharon King Davis developed Kings Landing, a retail center on Riverside Drive south of 91st Street. She urged the task force to adopt INCOG's corridor plan, which would give guidelines for future development. 

"I do think it's important that we have some kind of covenants in place for those private individuals that may want to develop on the river, that they take that into consideration and build their back door as lovely and welcoming as their front door," Davis said. 

Davis told the task force developers will come if dams are built. 

Tulsa's plan to put water in the Arkansas River could also benefit electric utility PSO. 

PSO has three thermal generating facilities along the river. They need water for cooling. PSO engineer Tom Hansen said they'll always get water from the river, but the proposed system of dams would help. 

"It just makes it more difficult when we have to go out there and bulldoze sandbars out and we have to put pumps out in the river and pump things back," Hansen said. "If we have bodies of water there, it makes it much easier."

The river's natural geography means the west bank, where PSO's facilities are located, is higher than the east bank, so water levels are lower on that side. 

The utility company could also potentially benefit from the river's aesthetic value if it attracts businesses and people to Tulsa. That would mean more customers.