The Tulsa City Council on Thursday approved a $703 million budget that included Councilor Blake Ewing’s plan for a $50,000 cost-share fund that would restore neon signs or upgrade them to neon along the Route 66 corridor, reported the Tulsa World.
An earlier World story explained Ewing’s proposal:
Ewing wants to see the city dollar amount matched by private donors and then when Route 66 businesses apply for grant dollars they would have to provide at least 50 percent in matching funds as well.
“What we’re trying to do is incentivise people to use neon signs which can be more costly than a plastic-box sign,” he said.
“Creating an aesthetic to Route 66 will help spur economic development.”
Several Route 66 entities, including Hillcrest Medical Center, Bama Pies and the University of Tulsa, have expressed interest in adding neon signs, Ewing said.
After his election, Ewing’s idea was one of the first he proposed with the forming of a Route 66 Task Force. Ewing thinks Route 66 is underused part of the city’s tourism economy.