(Re-posted from www.okc.gov)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2009
Mayor and Council announce MAPS 3 proposal
Initiative includes eight projects to create jobs and improve quality of life
Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and members of the Oklahoma City Council today announced plans for a MAPS 3 proposal that is expected to be considered by the citizens of Oklahoma City on December 8.
The ordinance calling for the election will be introduced at the September 22nd City Council meeting and considered at the September 29th meeting.
The initiative proposes a diverse list of eight projects:
- A new, approximately 70-acre central park linking the core of downtown with the Oklahoma River
- A new rail-based streetcar system, plus potential funding for other rail transit initiatives, such as commuter lines and a transit hub
- A new downtown convention center
- Sidewalks to be placed on major streets and near facilities used by the public throughout the City
- 57 miles of new public bicycling and walking trails throughout the City
- Improvements to the Oklahoma River, including a public whitewater kayaking facility and upgrades intended to achieve the finest rowing racecourse in the world
- State-of-the-art health and wellness aquatic centers throughout the City designed for senior citizens
- Improvements to the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds
“This proposal dreams big, and it continues the momentum and renaissance of the last 15 years,” said Mayor Cornett. “I believe it will achieve the goals that have always defined MAPS projects – creating jobs and improving our quality of life. I think it recognizes the needs of the world-class city we are becoming, and I think it will capture our imaginations. If this initiative moves forward, the next 10 years of this City’s history will be more exciting than the last 10. We have hardly scratched the surface of what this City is capable.”
The MAPS 3 proposal calls for a seven-year, nine-month one-cent sales tax that will maintain the Oklahoma City sales tax rate where it currently stands. Oklahoma City’s sales tax rate is one of the lowest of all municipalities in central Oklahoma. If approved, the collection of the sales tax will commence on April 1, 2010, the day after the conclusion of the sports facilities sales tax collection that voters approved in March, 2008. The MAPS for Kids sales tax collection lasted seven years.
The estimated total cost of the initiative is $777 million. That total cost includes $17 million in contingency funds.
The creation of previous MAPS packages were inclusive for their time, created through committees or by elected City leaders, but technology allowed this initiative to be molded by the people of Oklahoma City through the most inclusive process to date. In 2007, Mayor Cornett announced the launch of www.MAPS3.org, which for four months conducted a “call for ideas” open to all citizens.
Eighty-five percent of respondents urged the City to consider a MAPS 3 proposal. Respondents also provided 2,747 ideas. Of the 14 ideas that were most popular in that survey, 12 have been included in MAPS 3 or other City initiatives since 2007.
Mayor Cornett urged citizens to withhold judgment on the MAPS 3 proposal as he and the Council explain the eight projects in detail over the next two-and-a-half months. The Mayor announced that each of the projects will be the focus of regular press conferences starting in October.
“Today’s announcement is exciting, but it’s also a lot to take in,” said Cornett. “We will spend the next two-and-a-half months fully informing the citizens of the benefits of these projects. No one who wants to see our City’s momentum continue should be complacent just because MAPS and MAPS for Kids have been successful. These MAPS 3 projects must stand on their own, and the Council and I believe they will.
“We look forward to what will be a very public discussion. At the end of it, I believe we will have accomplished the most important initiative in our history, and this City will never be the same.”
Information on MAPS 3 will continue to be added at www.okc.gov/maps3.
Thu, September 17, 2009
by METRO Transit filed under