On November 6, Tulsa County voters will weigh-in on Vision2, a $748.8 million package of upgrades to spur economic development and improve quality of life.
About $212 million is earmarked for upgrades and renovations benefitting American Airlines, the bankrupt airline that employs about 7,000 at a maintenance base in Tulsa.
Public officials, the Tulsa Metro Chamber, and the airline are pushing for the taxpayer-funded upgrades, which they say would “help ensure the long-term viability of the company’s local presence,” the Tulsa World’s Wayne Greene reports:
… skeptics have demanded evidence that the plan will make a difference in the company’s choices.
One choice Vision2 won’t impact: layoffs of hundreds of Tulsa workers.
From the World:
“In short-term planning it will not have a huge impact,” said American spokeswoman Andrea Huguely in an email response to Tulsa World questions. “However, we view these type of investments with a long-term approach.”
Vision2 funding for American Airlines would help upgrade hangars and testing facilities to make sure the Tulsa base could handle the “airline’s changing fleet” of planes, Greene reports:
During negotiations with American Airlines, Tulsa Metro Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal has said that airlines officials made it clear that either Tulsa’s maintenance facility or its Fort Worth facility would be closed because of the company’s financial troubles.
American officials seemed to back up the chamber’s assertion:
“There are projects that could go elsewhere if our outdated assets or facilities do not get a much needed update,” she said.