Grant could put visitors’ center in Red Fork

A federal grant could put a visitors’ center next door to the Route 66 transportation theme park being built in the 3900 block of Southwest Boulevard.
“It just makes a lot of sense for people to come in, pull in, take a rest stop, (and) walk over” to the park, Randy Dittman told the Southwest Tulsa Chamber of Commerce during a regular meeting Thursday morning. “It’s going to be a wonderful jewel for us over here.”
Dittman said he and other Chamber members are working on an application for a federal Scenic Byways grant that would fund 80 percent of the estimated $330,000 cost of converting the bottom floor of the two-story “Chamber house” on Southwest Boulevard to a visitors’ center complete with rest rooms, interpretive materials, and information about local businesses and attractions.
The deadline for submitting the grant application is Monday. The grant is expected to be awarded by December, Dittman said.
If the Chamber receives the grant, it will be responsible for raising $66,000, or 20 percent of the total project cost, he said.
“We’ve kind of taken this house to the next level. We hadn’t anticipated this,” Dittman said. “We’d be remiss not to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Also during the meeting:

  • Tulsa City Councilor Rick Wescott reported that the city has approved the release of funds for work on the transportation theme park.
  • County Commissioner Randi Miller reported that engineering and design work is being done on the proposed low-water dams in the Arkansas River. Although voters rejected a proposal last fall to fund the construction of dams, $5.7 million in engineering and design work was already approved through Vision 2025, Miller said.
  • Kirby Crowe, program director for Vision 2025, said the Department of Environmental Quality has issued a permit for a water system at Chandler Park, and advertisements will go out April 7 for construction bids on a planned 16,000-square-foot community center at the park.
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