The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 20, 2012

Oklahoma Supreme Court made a good call in rejecting funding for Zink Lake Dam

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — We applaud the decision made by the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday to reject the use of $25 million in state bond funds to finance work on Tulsa’s Zink Lake Dam.

Justices unanimously ruled that the bond proposal amounted to a gift to the city of Tulsa, which owns the dam. Such a gift, they ruled, is unconstitutional, according to the Oklahoma Constitution.

We also applaud state Sen. Patrick Anderson for his dogged opposition to the proposal.

The Enid Republican has been on the offensive against the proposal for about a year.

He argued for months the plan was unconstitutional, and his opinion was vindicated by the court Tuesday.

The Legislature approved a bond issue in 2009 that included work three low-water dams along the Arkansas River.

The federal government was to kick in $50 million for the project, but that money that never was appropriated.

Legislators were told at the time the project would create 9,450 jobs, Anderson has said, and have a $2.8 billion impact on the state’s economy. Since the federal funds never were appropriated, the project never moved forward.

In challenging the constitutionality of the proposal earlier this year, Anderson said spending the money now on Zink Lake Dam is not what the Legislature intended when it approved the bond issue.

We’re glad to see the Oklahoma Supreme Court make the ruling it did, and we’re glad to have Sen. Anderson looking out for the taxpayers of the state.