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Vote Set for December

MAPS 4 Projects Approved by Council

The City Council has voted to approve a list of MAPS 4 projects; a list that includes a plan to create a civil rights museum dedicated to Clara Shepard Luper, the leader of the Oklahoma City Sit-In Movement that was adopted by the national Civil Rights Movement.

The council vote was unanimous.

Voters are likely to decide on the package in December.

The package takes the city on a path to pursue neighborhood revitalization projects, careening away from the expensive downtown and Bricktown projects of earlier Metropolitan Area Projects efforts.

The package includes efforts to better meet the needs of mental illness, addiction and homelessness.

Mayor David Holt noted that, while about 12 percent of the MAPS 3 budget was allocated to neighborhoods, about 70 percent of the MAPS 4 budget is earmarked for neighborhoods and “human needs.”

MAPS 4 projects include new park features and a new home for a center that will work to reduce domestic violence.
The City Council voted to call an election for Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Voters could then decide to continue a 1-cent sales tax scheduled to expire. That tax had financed MAPS 3 ventures.
The extension would begin April 1, 2020 and would continue for eight years if voters approve.

A nearly year-long public engagement process and a coalition-building series of four public meetings that drew hundreds of advocates to City Hall this summer led to Mayor Holt’s recommendation of 16 projects for MAPS 4, double the eight that were in MAPS 3.

“It will continue the momentum of Oklahoma City’s renaissance,” the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds said in an e-mail urging supporters to make thank-you calls to council members for including money in MAPS 4 for a new Fairgrounds Coliseum, to replace the more than 50-year-old Jim Norick Arena.

About $215 million is included in MAPS 4 for the new coliseum, a new stadium with a regulation professional soccer field, and expansion and renovation of Chesapeake Energy Arena, home of the Thunder.

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