OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) -With just a few weeks before Oklahoma City voters head to the polls to vote on the MAPS 4 initiative, city leaders are pushing back against criticism of the project.
In all, 16 projects are featured on the MAPS 4 list, including a new animal shelter, senior wellness centers, mental health and addiction, sidewalks, Chesapeake Arena upgrades, and even a multipurpose stadium.
The breakdown is as follows:
- Parks – $140 million
- Youth Centers- $110 million
- Senior Wellness Centers- $30 million
- Mental Health & Addiction Services- $40 million
- Family Justice Center operated by Palomar– $38 million
- Transit- $87 million
- Sidewalks, bike lanes, trails, and streetlights – $87 million
- Homelessness – $50 million
- Chesapeake Energy Arena and related facilities – $115 million
- Animal Shelter – $38 million
- Fairgrounds Coliseum – $63 million
- Diversion Hub – $17 million
- Innovation District – $71 million
- Freedom Center and Clara Luper Civil Rights Center – $25 million
- Beautification – $30 million
- Multipurpose Stadium – $37 million.
The project will be the most expensive MAPS to date with a bill projected at $978 million.
Despite the price tag, city leaders say Oklahoma City shoppers won't see any changes to their taxes. Officials say the measure would keep Oklahoma City’s sales tax rate unchanged and would take effect when the Better Streets, Safer City temporary sales tax expires.
"Ultimately, it's in the hands of the voters at this point," Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt told News 4 on Thursday.
Recently, some critics have argued that there isn't a way to measure success since there are so many projects included in MAPS 4.
However, Holt argues that there are clear goals with many of the projects that can be immediately seen.
"With the animal shelter, it's the hope of going to a no-kill shelter. With things like homelessness, it's the ambition of eventually ending homelessness and certainly reducing it. Obviously, with Palomar, it's the desire to dramatically decrease domestic violence in our community. Unfortunately, we're one of the highest incidences of domestic violence in the country," Holt said.
Voters will head to the polls on Dec. 10.