oklahoma city

Mick Cornett, the mayor of Oklahoma City, grew up there and saw the city he now leads rebound from the 1995 bombing of the Murrah federal building. He’s the incoming head of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which meets in Indianapolis this weekend.

In a conversation with Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd, Cornett weighs in on how a city recovers from a terrorist attack, and describes the crisis facing virtually every mayor in the U.S.: how to pay for repairs to crumbling infrastructure like roads and bridges.

Workers install a stone façade outside one of four Senior Wellness Centers being built as part of Oklahoma City’s MAPS 3 program.
Samuel Perry / The Journal Record

Several Oklahoma City civic leaders gathered Tuesday evening for a town hall meeting to discuss the city’s 10-year general obligation bond issue, which voters won’t decide until next year.

Oklahoma City’s water treatment facility at Lake Stanley Draper.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The Oklahoma City Council approved contracts Tuesday that could help bring more water to the metro from southeast Oklahoma.

The council approved seven separate construction design contracts worth more than #13 million, The Journal Record’s Brian Brus reports:

The city of Oklahoma City’s Chisholm Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant at Coffee Creek Road and N. Western Avenue in Edmond.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

The company that agreed to pay a nearly $1 million fine for water problems in Hugo earlier this week could soon get a new contract. The Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust Authority unanimously approved the proposed contract with Severn Trent Services on Tuesday.

The Journal Record’s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports Councilman Pete White, who sits on both bodies, said he’s convinced the problems in Hugo were an aberration, not a pattern:

Workers erect scaffolding outside the First National Center building in downtown Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma City Council discussed making changes to the tax increment finance district, or TIF, for the area affected by MAPS projects.

The council wants to increase the budget for the downtown MAPS district – adding $40 million to bring the total to $165 million.

“The says that the investment so far has already brought in $1.8 billion in private money, and adding the $40 million would bring in another $1 billion,” said The Journal Record’s managing editor Adam Brooks.

The site of the MAPS 3 park in downtown Oklahoma City.
Samuel Perry / The Journal Record

Ever since the 2009 passage of the MAPS 3 sales tax incentive that would fund a series of civic project in Oklahoma City, residents have been waiting for the park.

The so-called "core-to-shore" vision would connect the Myriad Botanical Gardens with the Oklahoma River, with an already-built pedestrian bridge bisecting Interstate 40 and connecting the two halves of the 70-acre greenbelt.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett during the January 13, 2016 State of the City address during a Greater Oklahoma City Chamber luncheon.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett was upbeat during Wednesday’s 2016 State of the City address.

Cornett touted a 10 percent decrease in the crime rate, and ran through a number of publications that ranked Oklahoma City as one of the best places in the country to start a business or visit.

The Obama administration plans to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees next year, despite criticism that they could present a security hazard. Few Syrians have been settled in Oklahoma, but 40 years ago, a wave of refugees from Vietnam arrived in the state. Those Vietnamese newcomers helped reshape a dying part of Oklahoma City. Jacob McCleland from KGOU reports.

San Nguyen stands along Classen Blvd. in Oklahoma City's Asian District.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

 

San Nguyen stands along Classen Blvd. in Oklahoma City’s Asian District and points out some of the Vietnamese-owned businesses north of NW 23rd Street.

 

“We have the hair salon. We have the massage center. We have the chiropractice,” Nguyen said. “We have a lot of Vietnamese restaurants that go up here to 36th.”

 

For most of its existence, Oklahoma City has been an oil-fueled place, ringed and riveted by superhighways and boulevards unsullied by shoulder or sidewalk. It was a city built to make cars happy. Parking was effortless, walking unnecessary and suburbs sprang like fungi across the unfruited plain.

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