By KELSY LORIN TAYLOR
Web Editor and Feature Writer
THINKING AHEAD: The planning for the second and third phases of the Main Street Beautification Project is underway. From left, Project Manager John Feary, Public Works Director Roger Stevens and Infrastructure Inspector Brandon Hancock pause to observe the phase one changes by the library.
KELSY LORIN TAYLOR for GTR Newspapers
Owasso has become a growing, energetic community, yet it has retained small town charm. Recent improvements on Main Street have brought a postcard setting back to the area. The Main Street Beautification Project will continue to bring a fresh appearance to the historical corridor.
Most recently, the first planned phase of the Main Street Beautification Project was set into motion in 2003 by Vision 2025, the countywide sales tax that has helped to fund capital improvements throughout Tulsa County.
Tulsa County communities created priorities for projects and then matched those priorities with Vision 2025. “In Owasso we had several mechanisms for this process,” notes Project Manager for the City of Owasso’s Public Works Department, John Feary.
The Capital Improvements Committee, the Owasso Economic Development Authority and the Owasso City Council worked with citizens to analyze the priority of projects. Feary explains that all of these entities determined that the Main Street Beautification Project would be the best fit for Owasso.
This decision has led to improvements that have brought a revived interest in the downtown area. Not unlike many cities throughout the nation, the downtown area was once the heart of Owasso but when the city began to grow away from Main Street residents spent more time in other areas of the community.
The resurfacing of Main Street from 76th Street North to Broadway, a new center turn lane and beautiful landscaping has brought residents back to the area to enjoy its enhanced charm. Businesses are now “better served, accessed easier and Main Street is more easily traversed allowing merchants more exposure,” adds Feary.
With the successful changes and positive feedback from the community, two additional phases of the Main Street Beautification Project have been planned. The first phase encompassed the area between 76th Street North to the library. This is the only phase funded by Vision 2025.
The second and third phase improvements will include the intersection of Main and 76th Street North then will proceed with phase 3 moving north of City Hall toward 86th Street North. Feary explains, “The City of Owasso will continue to make enhancements to both the infrastructure and aesthetics of Main Street over the next three to five years. The remaining enhancements will be done utilizing the city’s 3rd Penny Sales tax for capital improvement projects in the future.”
The improvements are still being planned but are expected to mirror those of the first phase of the Main Street Beautification Project. Flowerbeds and planters will be added as well as trees. New decorative lighting will also be installed “which allows for new light poles to be fitted with banner arms so that Owasso can proudly demonstrate its seasonal charm,” describes Feary.
Additional information about the Main Street Beautification Project can be obtained by calling the Owasso Public Works Department at (918) 272-4959. Suggestions and opinions about future projects are greatly appreciated.