Still a little shy of their $7 million goal, officials at the Greater Cornerstone Community Development Project were continuing their last-minute fundraising efforts for a new community center earlier this week as an Oct. 14 deadline loomed.
The organization's executive director, the Rev. Willard Jones, said the nonprofit group had raised approximately $6.2 million toward the cost of a planned community center for the South Haven neighborhood in west Tulsa by Oct. 11. But unless the group eclipsed the $7 million mark by Oct. 14, it stood to lose $2.5 million in matching funds from the Mabee Foundation and other groups.
"We are down to under $800,000," Jones said on Oct. 11. "But we're over the $6 million mark. So we're getting there."
The money is being raised for the construction of a 20,698-square-foot community center, and for building and program endowments designed to make the project self-sustaining.
The planned facility would house a number of social-service organizations, including Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Goodwill Industries, Camp Fire USA, the state Department of Human Services, Family and Children's Services, A Pocket Full of Hope and the Association Centers for Therapy. Additionally, Oklahoma State University will operate one of its Bedlam Clinics on the site. The building also is intended to serve as a community gathering spot and will offer recreation facilities.
Anyone interested in pledging money for the project can call 446-3145 or visit gccdp.com online.
Needing That Green
City officials received more good financial news last week when Tulsa's sales tax collections for mid-August to mid-September, as reported by the state Tax Commission, came in at more than last year's totals for the same period and above the budget estimate for the month.
The total of approximately $17.1 million was 5.6 percent more than the approximately $16.2 million collected during the same period last year. The projected budget estimate for the period was approximately $15.4 million.
For the year to date, sales taxes received total more than $66.8 million, a slight increase from the more than $66.1 million collected to this point last year.
"We are still carefully monitoring our revenue intake and projections," Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr. stated in a press release. "We feel encouraged that we remain on the right track, but it is important to look at collections in the context of where we came. So far, year to date, the sales tax collections are less than 1 percent higher than last year when the city was in the worst budget crisis since the Great Depression."
The news was not as good in regard to use taxes. That figure exceeded last year's total, but remained below the projected budget estimate for the period. Use taxes collected for the mid-August to mid-September period totaled almost $1.3 million, up from the more than $1.1 million collected during the same period last year, but less than the $1,357,000 expected.
For the year to date, use taxes collected total more than $5.5 million, down 3 percent from the almost $5.7 million collected for the same period last year.
"We will continue to plan and operate with conservative estimates as we work to implement cost-saving changes, efficiency recommendations and look for ways to increase revenues," the mayor stated.
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