Adam Doverspike, founder of MotherRoad Travel, stands inside a charter bus Wednesday before customers arrived to travel to Oklahoma City for a Thunder game. KEVIN CANFIELD/The Frontier

Adam Doverspike, founder of MotherRoad Travel, stands inside a charter bus Wednesday before customers arrived to travel to Oklahoma City for a Thunder game. KEVIN CANFIELD/The Frontier

The Sunday Sampler is The Frontier’s weekly roundup of news and notes, some serious, some not, from Tulsa and beyond.

Check please

Let’s start with a new twist on an old story. You might remember that just in time for Hillary Clinton’s arrival to town — or so the joke goes — the Jazz Hall of Fame produced an $11,000 cashier’s check to cover the overdue payment of its Downtown Stadium Improvement Assessment fee.

According to Tulsa County Public Information Officer Michael Willis, the bill was due in August. When the payment never arrived, the county on Nov. 4 sent out a notice informing the Jazz Hall had that it had 30 days to pay the bill.

And so the Jazz Hall paid the bill, one day before the bill was due.

Now it turns out that the Jazz Hall didn’t actually pay the bill. Not directly, anyway. The cashier’s check was issued by Sweeney Public Relations & Marketing LLC.

Jason McIntosh, the Jazz Hall’s executive director, told The Frontier that the nonprofit had the money to pay the bill but he just couldn’t get to the bank in time to get the cashier’s check. So he asked Sweeney PR, which does work for the Jazz Hall, to issue one.

“We had them convert a regular (Jazz Hall) check into a cashier’s check because they will only take a cashier’s check,” McIntosh told The Frontier.

The Union Depot was purchased by Tulsa County for $4 million for the Jazz Hall of Fame’s use. As part of its lease with the county, the Jazz Hall is required to pay for property insurance and the annual downtown assessment, as well as utilities.

New city sales tax rate?

Now that Tulsa County has declared that it plans to ask voters to approve a 0.10 percent (one 10th of one penny) extension of the Vision 2025 sales tax, there is a possibility Tulsans could see their sales tax rate increase.

That’s because the city is putting together its own Vision renewal package.

So if both the city and county Vision packages were approved, the city’s overall sales tax rate would likely increase.

The current city sales tax rate is 8.517 percent. If city voters approved a 0.60 percent Vision extension and county voters approve new a separate 0.10 percent Vision tax, Tulsans would see their overall sales tax rate increase to 8.617 percent.

If both initiatives failed, Tulsans would see their sales tax rate decrease to 7.917 percent.

There are scenarios where Tulsa’s sales tax rate would end up somewhere between 7.917 percent and 8.617 percent.

Currently the city’s overall sales tax includes a 3.1 percent city sales tax, a 4.5 percent state sales tax and a 0.917 percent county sales tax.

Tulsa County proposed Vision 2025 projects

Expo Square facility needs: $34,245,900

The capital expenditures for Expo Square will increase Expo’s competitive advantage and retain clients who bring more than $160 million in economic impact to the Tulsa area, county officials say. Without retrofitting and maintaining existing facilities to accommodate the growing events, Expo will not be able to compete with other regional event centers that can accommodate the growing demand.

Road / bridge projects: $62,400,000
Tulsa County maintains more than 700 miles of road and nearly 200 bridges. They are the backbone of our neighborhoods and business districts. Every municipality in Tulsa County benefits from the Tulsa County maintenance master plan.

Parks quality of life projects: $14,425,000
Tulsa County parks are some of the finest and largest parks in the region. People visit our parks about 1.5 million times per year, and thus need capital improvements to meet an ever growing demand. The county’s ability to service our visitors hinges on having the capital dollars necessary to maintain and create public spaces that promote healthy lifestyles.

County capital improvements: $25,000,000
The county has long struggled with antiquated space in buildings and a lack of parking to accommodate the thousands of people who use the court house. Solving these long-standing issues will allow the county to operate in a more efficient fashion and provide citizens better access to these important government facilities.

Total: $136,070,900

Who is that man In the back of the room?

Don Bouvier sat quietly in the back of the City Council conference room Thursday as councilors discussed a proposal to bring an REI store to the southwest corner of 71st Street and Riverside Drive.

It would have been interesting to hear his thoughts on the project and the process city officials undertook to get it here.

Bouvier is president of UCR Development of Dallas, the company that put the deal together.
But no one asked. Or maybe no one knew he was there.

Speaking of REI …

Several city councilors at Thursday’s meeting called for the Mayor’s Office to do a better job of communicating with councilors and the public regarding development projects.

Clay Bird, director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, said he’s open to improving the lines of communication.

But he also made it clear that he can’t always give a heads-up on projects he’s working on.

“Honestly, if that’s the expectations, I don’t want to mislead anybody,” Bird said. “Because if I’m working with a prospect and they tell me they don’t want me to tell anybody, including the mayor or any of the city councilors, I’m not going to do that, because if I do, I’ve just lost every bit of credibility, and I’m not going to be able to work with them.”

Betting on busing

Adam Doverspike thinks Tulsa — and Oklahoma City, for that matter — is ready to embrace public transportation. That’s why this Duke-educated lawyer and his wife have launched a commuter bus service, MotherRoad Travel.

The company’s goal is to provide “affordable, direct and reliable transit to citizens of Tulsa and Oklahoma City,” according to the company’s website.

MotherRoad also provides service to Oklahoma City Thunder and OU and OSU football games.
Wednesday night, a bus full of people traveled to Oklahoma City for a Thunder game against the Portland Trailblazers.

Doverspike hopes to have daily commuter service to Oklahoma City sometime next year.