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Ted Wright -- last update 8/8/2003 (chamberAug7.html) Copyright 2003

Vision 2025 Information at Chamber of Commerce
August 7, 2003

at Herald Elementary
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Phil Ostrander (left) has a discussion, after the Chamber meeting, with Wilbert Collins (Tulsa County Commissioner), Steve Sewell (Deputy Tulsa Mayor), and Mike Tinker (Collinsville City Manager).

After a meal provided by DG&S and prepared by Sexton's Bar-B-Q, the Chamber was statused on several on-going topics: Aug. 12th Teacher Appreciation Breakfast; Tri-County Fair; Sept. 13th Founders Day (merchants will be selling chances for a Branson trip); Basket Sale in October; and progress on moving the Chamber into their new location.

The decision that Tulsa County voters will make on September 9th (on Vision 2025) was the main topic of the meeting. A short video and words from Collinsville, Tulsa County and Tulsa City officials indicate that the election in about 4 weeks will be a major turing point in the future of this region. The decision will be to approve or reject individually the four components of an additional one cent sales tax for 13 years.

The video cited Oklahoma City as an example of a decision several years ago that turned a "ditch" into a successful economic boom (the Bricktown area).

Wilbert Collins, Tulsa County Commissioner, stressed that the benefits of this Vision 2025 plan would be county-wide (not just Tulsa). He (& others) stressed the regional impact on employment by gains or losses in jobs corresponding to Boeing and America Airlines decisions which might be influenced by the September 9th vote. Mr. Collins stated that approving this tax was an opprotunity to help this region move into the 21st century. Mr. Collins also expressed a fear that if local regions didn't use their local sales taxes for future growth, they might eventually lose their control to a national level sales tax process.

Steve Sewell, Deputy Tulsa Mayor, stressed both the infrastructure improvement and jobs aspect of the Vision 2025 plan. Mr. Sewell wanted voters to know that if they did approve the Boeing proposition and Boeing does not come for any reason, that 4/10th cent would not be collected. Steve cited thousands of jobs that hang in the balance depending on Boeing and American Airlines futures in this region.

Collinsville stands to directly gain about $3 million (for City Hall rebuild and school funding) in addition to the indirect regional gains in infrastructure and jobs.

-- Ted Wright 8/8/2003