By TERRY SIMONSON
COMMISSIONER AND MAYOR: Tulsa County Commissioner Fred Perry, left, and Bixby Mayor Ray Bowen at LaFortune Park, a Tulsa County Park that is undergoing major improvements to its tennis facilities and other areas. The City of Bixby works closely with Tulsa County, especially on street and road improvements.
Editor’s note: Tulsa County is divided into three county commission districts, each represented by a Commissioner. This month we are highlighting District 3, which is represented by County Commissioner Fred Perry.
County Commission District 3 represents some of the fastest growing portions of Tulsa County, encompassing south Tulsa, Bixby and Broken Arrow with an estimated population of 188,000 citizens. Working in cooperation with the leadership in these towns by Commissioner Perry has been both a priority and necessity in the areas of park development, road improvements, and the continuing implementation of Vision 2025 and Four to Fix projects.
One of the most beautiful county parks is LaFortune Park. Though this park sits in the middle of the City of Tulsa, it’s a county park under the direction of Parks Director Richard Bales. During 2008, Commissioner Perry lead the effort to bring nine new tennis courts, the first addition since the 1970s with more to come in 2009 through private fundraising efforts of Operation Face Lift.
Commissioner Perry says,“We are determined to make the LaFortune tennis facilities the premier public tennis facility in Oklahoma. And LaFortune is proud to announce that Head Golf Professional Christopher Jarrett has been selected by his fellow golf professionals in the PGA as the South Central Section PGA’s 2009 Junior Golf Leader. This award recognizes the PGA professional who is a leader in junior golf, reflects the qualities and ideals of those who work with our nations youth.”
With the growth of residential and commercial development in Bixby, the County and the City of Bixby have had and will continue to have a number of street improvement projects. The 101st Street and Memorial Drive improvement has been driven by the Target retail store being developed. Thanks to the County highway department, the intersection will undergo major improvements. The County will be providing the equipment and manpower and the City of Tulsa will provide the materials.
“Our highway construction crews are the best public street and road units in this part of the state,” says Commissioner Perry.
Tulsa County will also do the downtown street overlays in Bixby as well as the street patching and overlay in Bixby Ranch Estates, Bixhoma Lake Estate, and the Sheridan Overlay. Mayor Ray Bowen says, “District 3 residents have always benefited from the hard work that Commissioner Fred Perry and County Engineer Ray Jordan have done in the District.”
In Broken Arrow, Tulsa County partnered with Mayor Wade McCaleb and City Manager Jim Twombly on several projects important to the citizens of Broken Arrow.
Broken Arrow’s downtown has been revitalized by two significant Vision 2025 projects: The Farmer’s Market and Pavilion project is now complete as is the Historical Museum and Art Gallery projects. Both are family attractions that draw more residents and visitors to the heart of Broken Arrow, which has been along established goal in Broken Arrow.
On a more Countywide scale, Expo Square has recently completed over $100 million dollars of improvements. With the tremendous new exhibit halls and midway and renovated Pavilion, Tulsa County now has one of the most premium exhibition facilities in the country. As the Tulsa County Public Facilities Board (also known as the Fair Board) looks ahead, it is hoped that by the middle of 2009 a new CEO will be on board. Commissioner Perry, who also serves as the Chair of the Fair Board, recently said: “Now that the major improvements are completed, the Board and staff will focus on providing quality customer service, premium event relations, and an extensive marketing campaign to bring some of the best shows and events to Tulsa County. Much of the increase in sales tax revenue in Tulsa and this region comes from the dollars spent by visitors attending an event at Expo Square.”
The author serves as Director of Development and Governmental Affairs/Public Information Officer for Tulsa County.