KGOU

MAPS 4 Organizers Optimistic Even Without Formal Oklahoma City Support

Jan 9, 2016

Community groups are starting to gather ideas that could be included in a potential fourth Metropolitan Area Projects, or MAPS, plan.

A group called MAPS 4 Neighborhoods is holding meetings to gather ideas for the next phase of a sales tax that funds community improvements.

Though the group has a professional logo and branding, it is not associated with an official effort by the city, The Journal Record’s Brian Brus reports:

A City Hall spokeswoman expressed concern this week that the MAPS 4 Neighborhoods movement’s promotional materials might be misconstrued as being sanctioned by the municipal government. Frequent MAPS 4 Neighborhoods community meetings are well-organized, and announcements carry a professionally designed color logo. The next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 11 at Ralph Ellison Library, 2000 NE 23rd St.

But Mayor Mick Cornett said he is OK with that, and he wants to see how the effort pans out. The process to collectively define bond issue goals is taking off in the same manner as MAPS 3, although this time it’s not receiving direction from public officials.

“At this point, no idea is a bad idea,” Cornett said. “If you remember, with MAPS 3 we asked for input and we got 1,800 ideas submitted. We want as inclusive a process as we can. And to the extent that they want to get in front and put their ideas in place first, I think that’s healthy.”

The current MAPS 3 includes a central park, community centers and a planned convention center.

MAPS 4 Neighborhoods organizer Jonathan Dodson said he wants half of funds from a future sales tax to go toward areas across the city.

Cornett said that because the $777 million in MAPS 3 projects are not complete, it’s not clear when the next vote might take place. But there is some precedence for a timeline, according to Brus:

Voters passed the original MAPS plan in 1993 as a temporary 1-cent sales tax, later extending it six months to reach a $350 million target. Projects included construction of the Bricktown Canal and renovations to what’s now known as the Cox Convention Center.

In 2001, voters came back and supported OCMAPS, also called MAPS for Kids, to raise $700 million for school district infrastructure improvements. 

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