Council Squares Off on Expo Annexation

The proposal of a city ordinance to annex Expo Square will be the topic of a city council meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, in the Council Room on the Plaza Level of City Hall.  The meeting is open to the public.

First proposed by City Councilor Roscoe Turner, the issue of annexation has been a “hot button” item for many city officials.

Expo Square officials say the annexation will affect more than just taxes – it will also dictate whether or not shows will use Expo Square facilities.  They estimate the economic impact of Expo Square’s various events and shows to be as much as $140 million annually in hotel rooms, food, entertainment and other amenities.

Rick Bjorklund, Expo CEO and president, has stated that “no dialogue has been undertaken” with regard to zoning implications for buildings, construction and event productions, ordinances pertaining to animals, storm water management, water and utilities or the safety force and whether Police or Sheriff would be deployed in the case of an emergency – all factors critical to the daily activities and workings of Expo Square.

The president of the Tulsa Boat, Sport and Travel Show, Phil Keeter, believes the city council needs to “learn more about the ramifications” of the annexation issue, and Joe Wanenmacher, of the Wanenmacher’s Tulsa Arms Show, recently stated he felt that annexation would have a “significant negative impact” on his show, and “would very likely have the same effect upon most, if not all, of Expo’s events.

Expo Square officials are urging citizens, vendors, show promoters – and anyone in opposition of this proposal – to attend the meeting and voice their opinions.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 February 2007 )