Are Taxpayers Obligated To Finish Indian Cultural Center?

Thursday, May 19th 2011, 2:26 am
By: News 9

Kelly Ogle, News 9

I guarantee a lot of you are going to disagree with me tonight, but before you do I want you to consider a scenario.

The Governor says to you: "Your family is such an important part of this state's history we're going to build a million dollar park to honor you."

But then about half way into construction, the state runs tight on money, state leaders come back and say "we need your family to pay for the rest of the park."

That's a little like what's happening with the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum now under construction near downtown along the Oklahoma River.

The tribes didn't initiate this project, the state, under Governor Keating did.

And isn't it high time we had a world class center to recognize our unique American Indian history that differentiates us from all other states?

Lawmakers, facing budget cuts, have delayed the final $40 million to finish the project, even though that money will be matched with private donations.

So by August, the project will grind to a halt--five years after they broke ground on it.

Ok, I know many of you are going to say the tribes with all their casino money should finish it off, and they are expected to pay about ten percent of it when it's all said and done, but I go back to my opening scenario.

Doesn't the state have a responsibility to finish the project?  A responsibility and an opportunity in my opinion.