The Norman Transcript

Local news

April 18, 2008

NEW: Collins says Sonics incentive vote may help push light rail

<br><b>Local representatives voting in favor of the incentives for the SuperSonics this week were Wallace Collins, Scott Martin and Bill Nations. Opposing the measure were Randy Terrill, Paul Wesselhoft. State Sen. Jonathan Nichols voted yes and State Sen. John Sparks opposed the bill.</b>

State Rep. Wallace Collins says the legislature's vote giving special tax incentives to the owners of an NBA franchise may indirectly help promote light rail in central Oklahoma.

The Norman Democrat voted in favor of the bill which passed the House 67-32 Thursday. Senators approved it Tuesday and Gov. Brad Henry quickly signed the bill.

Collins, speaking to a Norman Chamber of Commerce legislative breakfast Friday, said he was able to raise the issue of light rail with the owners of the Seattle SuperSonics. He said they seemed interested in promoting rail using existing lines and stations.

"I hope it struck a chord with them. I think it did," Collins said, noting passengers could ride from Norman to Bricktown for sporting events and passengers could come to Norman for sporting and cultural events."

Collins said it makes sense to use the existing resources like the Union Station and the track between the Will Rogers World Airport and

The rebate would be about $4 million a year and $60 million over its 15-year life. Normally not a fan of what critics call, "corporate welfare," Collins defended his vote Thursday. He said it was a benefit for a narrow cause but the spinoffs down the line will help central Oklahoma.

"It probably is corporate welfare," he said. "I think it would help Norman. I think it would help all of central Oklahoma."

State Rep. Bill Nations, D-Norman, said he voted in favor of the bill because if the Sonics move to Oklahoma, it will be a much larger net gain in tax revenues for the state. If they don't come, nothing is lost, he told chamber members and guests Friday.

On other legislative matters, Collins said he was satisfied the bill putting defibrillators in public schools finally got a hearing and was passed after his name was removed from authorship.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • N7 Sooners come together to serve Native American youth

    Whitney Wofford has faced some tough competition as a part of the Oklahoma tennis team. However, on Wednesday, Wofford may have taken on her biggest and most rewarding competition yet at the Sooners For N7 event at the Oklahoma football ...

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Police arrest man connected to homicide

    Norman Police have arrested Abid Sandhu, 37 years old, of Norman, on a complaint of Murder in the First Degree. Formal charges have yet to be filed. At approximately 3:35 a.m. Saturday, the Norman Police Communications Center received a ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Cody’s Run raises $14,000

    Cody Ponder’s positive attitude was infectious even while he struggled with esophageal cancer. He always worked to help others and his giving spirit inspired a 5k race to benefit struggling patients. Last year Cody’s family organized a run ...

    April 20, 2014

  • movieposter Movie about Moore tornado survivors premieres May 16

    MOORE — Exploring ideas of faith and hope, an Oklahoma faith-based documentary on the May 20, 2013, EF-5 Moore tornado is scheduled to premiere at the Moore Warren Theatre May 16....

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former mayor files for county office

    Local physician and former Norman Mayor Harold Haralson recently filed his candidacy for the Cleveland County Commission District 3 seat....

    April 20, 2014

  • Selling Norman is love at first sight

    Meeting planners who make a site visit to Norman tend to fall in love, convention and hospitality experts said this week. The staff of the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau are commissioned with the job of promoting tourism and selling ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Green House is a homegrown business

    Nancy Muenzler was a banker in her previous life. That was before the Green House, 1708 SW 24th Street, became her passion....

    April 20, 2014

  • Conan’s martial arts moves downtown

    Conan’s Kickboxing, Karate, Boxing, Jujitsu, MMA Academy is celebrating the grand opening of a new facility right in the heart of downtown Norman at 310 E. Main St. Founded in 1996 by four-time World Kickboxing Champion Scott “Conan” ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Chamber welcomes new members

    The Norman Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all our sales volunteers and welcome our new Chamber members from our recent spring membership drive.  Suzanne McAuley was this year’s membership drive chair....

    April 20, 2014

  • It’s easier than ever to be your own movie producer

    Things have certainly come a long way since 1988, when the first stand-alone audio CD recorders outside of CD manufacturing plants started showing up. At that time, do-it-yourself CDs were the province of the rich and famous, as the ...

    April 20, 2014