Council to vote on $3 million gift to TTC

Post date: Nov 12, 2008 9:44:19 PM

by J.B. Alexander

The Owasso City Council is scheduled to vote November 18th on a plan to borrow $3 million to purchase land and GIVE this property to the Tulsa Technology Center (TTC) to build a 25 acre campus in Owasso. This amount is on top of the $1.6 million dollar roadway improvements already underway.

According to information discussed Tuesday night at the Owasso City Council work session, TTC will be building a facility to house the TTC and Tulsa Community College (TCC). According the Tulsa County Assessor Ken Yazel TTC and TCC have a combined carry over this year of $119.9 million dollars. Tulsa Community College alone has a $12.3 million dollar "unobligated" reserve.

I see three points that makes this a bad move for the Owasso citizens:

  1. Why are the citizens of Owasso going to "borrow" money to give to another tax supported agency that has millions of dollars in carryover and "unobligated" reserve funds?
  2. Why can't these funds be used for the 2003 Third Penny sales tax projects? If the city leadership can borrow money against the CIP fund to give away why can’t they use these funds to finish CIP projects proposed to the votes back in 2003. Currently over $50 million dollars of proposed projects are not even on the drawing board and the street repair and maintenance funding has been cut by $250,000.
  3. With the current financial crisis in our nation why are we rushing to go into debt? The city currently has about $46 million dollars in long term debt. With this, and other proposed projects, the cities long term debt will rise by 60% to approximately $74 million dollars.

The building of a TTC/TCC facility in Owasso is not the issue here. The issue is who is paying for this facility. TTC and TCC have the funds to build a campus in Owasso without the city taking away funds from projects that need to be completed today. I urge you to attend the November 18th City Council meeting and speak up about this misuse of city funds.