4 Projects Presented To OKC City Council In 8-Hour Long MAPS 4 Meeting
OKLAHOMA CITY - The potential for tens of millions of MAPS 4 dollars dedicated to changing lives in Oklahoma City brought a packed house once again to city hall.
Wednesday, July 31 four more MAPS 4 ideas were presented to OKC City Council in a meeting that went on for eight hours.
Public transit, ending homelessness, improving Chesapeake Energy Arena and creating a hub for people in the criminal justice system were all debated.
EMBARK is proposing a system that would make bus schedules obsolete on many routes. Fifty-five million alone would go to bus rapid transit busses every 12-15 minutes.
“It is a robust high frequency transit option,” said OKC Transit Director Jason Ferbrache.
Northeast OKC and South OKC would become route priorities. Park and ride stations are included in the plan, along with 500 covered bus stops. Lights would also be added to all 1,400 of the city’s existing bus stops.
The total ask from transit leaders amounts to $87.2 million.
A plan to increase housing for the estimated 1,300 people who experience homelessness in OKC each day is also being considered.
The ask for at least $40 million would be leveraged into $400 million in private and tax credit financing to build 4,000 new homes.
“I think we can get the numbers vanishingly low with a proposal like this,” said Homeless Alliance Director Dan Straughan.
A plan for a major commitment to Chesapeake Energy Arena is also on the table. It includes a 70,000 square-foot expansion. The plan seeks $120 million to $135 million for fan amenities, building enhancements, the practice facility and building maintenance.
The final presentation Friday, August 2 will provide more options for those in the criminal justice system.
The Arnall Family Foundation is asking for $15 to $18 million in MAPS 4 funding to help pay for part of a 35,000 square-foot diversion hub. The facility would house many organizations and services to help get people back on their feet after being in jail or prison.
"There are barriers, one after the other. Whenever someone in a system like this doesn't understand it, which most of us don't, hits that barrier, they give up,” said Arnall Family Foundation Director Sue Ann Arnall.
The final MAPS 4 presentation meeting is Tuesday, August 6.