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KOCO: Oklahoma City residents pass MAPS 4 initiative; what's next?

By Dillon Richards
Published: December 11, 2019

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Oklahoma City voters approved the MAPS 4 initiative by a historic margin Tuesday, but the big question of “what’s next” still looms.

The new sales tax is expected to collect about $978 million over the next eight years, and the money will be used to fund 16 projects. Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt told KOCO 5 said he’s working on the next steps and city officials will work to determine how much each project will receive.

One of those projects, the domestic violence shelter and family center Palomar, is set to get $38 million for a new facility.

“I mean, it’s a huge message to survivors that you matter, that we care about you, that you’re not alone,” Palomar CEO Kim Garrett said.

Another project would fund a new facility for Oklahoma City Animal Welfare. That project also is set to get $38 million.

“Getting a new animal shelter is great, but it’s also saying that Oklahoma City is in a different place and time than we were 20 years ago,” Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Superintendent Jon Gary said.

City leaders were in a similar position 10 years ago when MAPS 3 passed.

Now, Holt said city officials will create a citizens advisory committee around January 2020 and then will meet with people to decide on who will be on it. That committee will come up with a plan on what to fund when, and then the City Council will have to approve its recommendations.

“My guess is a lot of these MAPS 4 projects will happen in pieces throughout the 10 years of implementation, but it’s really important to be patient,” Holt said. “MAPS 3 didn’t complete its implementation plan for about a year and half before that was adopted.”

That timeline is by design considering MAPS projects are debt-free and the funding has to be collected first. For example, the MAPS 3 Convention Center isn’t expected to open until 2020, 11 years after the MAPS 3 initiative was approved by voters.