[Photo by Steve Johnson]
Well, we’re sure you know what a map is. You either have one in your phone or if you’re more of a traditionalist, you still have one folded underneath your passenger seat.
What we’re talking about – and what you’re going to hear more about in the next few months – are the Metropolitan Area Projects. On Dec. 10, Oklahoma City residents will be asked to vote on continuing the 1-cent sales tax that will be used to fund 16 projects. This is the fourth iteration of the MAPS program.
The first iteration of MAPS was in 1993. The original MAPS program funded popular attractions such as the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, the Bricktown Canal and the Oklahoma River revitalization, not to mention Chesapeake Arena, home of the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder.
The second MAPS, called "MAPS for Kids," helped revitalized Oklahoma City’s public schools. The program generated $514 million, which was used for school facility improvements, technology and transportation projects. Seventy percent of the sales tax funds were disbursed to the Oklahoma City Public School District and 30 percent went to surrounding suburban districts.
MAPS 3 was passed by voters in 2009. This version funded projects such as Scissortail Park, bike/running trails, the RIVERSPORT Rapids, the new convention center and senior wellness centers throughout the city.
This year, when residents were asked to think about what MAPS 4 would look like, people thought of taking care of those in need, while also thinking about what other items would drive our economy and what amenities residents would enjoy and would keep bringing people to our city. All together, MAPS 4 will fund 16 different projects. Be sure you subscribe to VeloCityOKC.com, where you’ll be able to find out more about each project. Make sure you’re registered to vote as well.