OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Senate has unveiled a new plan to divert $80 million in sales and use taxes to pay for the completion of an American Indian museum in Oklahoma City and build a new popular culture museum in Tulsa.
A Senate budget committee late Thursday approved both measures, which next must be considered by a similar committee in the House, where the proposals are likely to face strong resistance.
The Army Corps of Engineers closes Applegate Cove’s campground, but its marina at Kerr Lake remains open.
Owner of the marina Jeff Voyles says the campground closing will affect vacationers.
He acknowledged, “You need to make cuts when there are budget cuts … recreation kind of falls to the bottom of the list.”
“We’re in the process of trying to take over Applegate Cove campground," he said, "and incorporate it with the marina so we can get the gates open to the public as fast as we can. It really depends on the budget.”
Armed with a new study about the economic impact, Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture backers make a last minute push for legislative funding. The Tulsa Regional Chamber study estimates the museum would have an 18-million dollar impact in its’ first year. Bob Ball, Chief Economist with the Chamber, says the museum would also have a long-term tourism impact that could benefit the entire state.
Getting the ball rolling would take a state funding infusion of 42.5 million dollars. With little time left in this session, it’s unlikely lawmakers will take action this year.