The Journal Record: Mayor says MAPS 4 has broad support as campaign kicks off

By Daisy Creager
Published: September 10, 2019 

Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt and Greater Oklahoma City Chamber Chair Percy Kirk kick off the MAPS 4 campaign Tuesday at City Hall Park. (Photo by Mark Hancock)

Click here to read the story!

OKLAHOMA CITY – A campaign promoting a capital investment program, led by the Love Your OKC Coalition, was announced Tuesday by Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt outside of City Hall. 

The Oklahoma City Council unanimously voted Aug. 27 to send the fourth iteration of the Metropolitan Area Projects to a citywide vote Dec. 10. 

If approved by residents, a temporary, 1-cent sales tax would take effect in April to raise $978 million over eight years to fund 16 projects.

Chaired by Holt and co-chaired by Greater Oklahoma City Chamber Chair Percy Kirk, the coalition launched a website with information about the history of MAPS, the projects included in MAPS 4 and how to register to vote.

At the campaign announcement, Holt said the work on MAPS 4 will not be complete until the vote and the coalition will act as a grassroots network campaigning for the program.

“We have unity as broad as this city has ever seen … there are so many people coming together for this who see the merits of this package, see what it will do to propel our city forward, see how it will extend our city’s renaissance to all of our residents,” Holt said.

Holt said MAPS 4 has a “comprehensive, broad nature” and includes something for everybody.

“I look at every one of these projects, I imagine, just like you do, I dream about what they will mean to our city. … We really focused on neighborhoods and daily life, but at the same time, there’s something there for quality of life, entertainment and things that grow our jobs and grow our economy, just like MAPS in the past,” Holt said.

Projects included in MAPS 4 focus on improving social services and neighborhoods. Among social service improvements are projects dedicating $40 million to mental health and substance abuse services, $38 million for a family justice center, $50 million to housing for the homeless, $38 million for a new animal shelter, $17 million for a criminal justice diversion hub, $110 million for youth centers and $30 million for senior wellness centers.

Several projects upgrade existing or build new facilities, including $115 million dedicated to the Chesapeake Energy Arena and other facilities, $63 million for a new facility at the fairgrounds, $37 million for construction of a multipurpose stadium, $140 million to upgrade parks and $25 million for renovations to the Freedom Center and construction of a Clara Luper Civil Rights Center.

The remaining projects dedicate $87 million to city transit, $30 million to city beautification, $71 million to develop the Innovation District and $87 million for sidewalks, bike lanes, trails and streetlights.

Detailed breakdowns of each project are outlined on the city website.

In a press release about the coalition, Kirk said in the past, MAPS has strengthened the city and created an environment of growth.

“Previous MAPS programs have been called some of the most successful and innovative tools ever developed by a city. … MAPS 4 will keep the momentum going and extend the scope of community enhancements and capital projects,” Kirk said.