Welcome back to our ongoing coverage of a beloved pastime of Oklahoma City: the trotting out of MAPS presentations! Yes, every few years, it’s time for local agencies, non-profits, special interest groups and the like to write out their Christmas lists and pitch them to city council in the hopes that they’ll be able to get some sweet sales tax money and make their wild dreams come true.
We covered proposals from the first meeting, and will continue our coverage as the meetings happen and we get a clearer idea of what everyone is wanting out of MAPS. The last meeting was a few weeks ago, but I was out of town so you’re getting that sweet coverage today. Deal with it.
What It Is: Building and revamping places where kids can go to stay off the streets and have a safe space.
Pros: The proposal would build a few new facilities and provide classes and video games and stuff to do that isn’t just a bare room with bean bag chairs and ancient Foosball tables.
Cons: I see the importance of places like this to the community, but do kids actually go there? Like, why go to the youth center when the more thrilling life of getting into stupid trouble with your friends is out there?
What It Is: Adding murals, public art, and trees around the city.
Pros: So much of OKC is an ugly hellscape of blandness, so we could use a little sprucing up to give ourselves an identity and sense of place. Also, at $25 million, this is one of the cheapest of the MAPS 4 proposals we’ve seen thus far.
Cons: Although it’s okay to give multinational corporations subsidies in the name of capitalism, the government paying artists sure sounds a lot like communism. Does our city council love our country?
State Fair coliseum
What It Is: A massive new arena on the fairgrounds to replace the aging Jim Norick Arena
Pros: It sure will be great to have a shiny new building for high school basketball tournaments, FFA goat shows and a wide variety of equine abusing horse shows.
Cons: The State Fair is already setting on a pile of cash. Plus, the fairgrounds were more fun when all the buildings were old and dumpy and falling apart. It gave the place character. Watching a carnie wash his hair in the new bathroom of a new facility has no charm.
Senior wellness centers
What It Is: New facilities where senior citizens can work out that aren’t strip mall gyms .
Pros: Anything to keep those riff-raff Baby Boomers off the streets and away from crime is a total win for the city.
Cons: We just financed 4 of these through MAPS 3. Also, it’s the second MAPS 4 proposal that mentioned building pickle ball courts (Parks Dept was the other), so I’m starting to think somebody from Big Pickle Ball is greasing palms around town.
What It Is: A new animal shelter. Yup.
Pros: Pets are amazing and we as humans don’t deserve their loyalty and companionship and we should do everything in our power to help and protect them. Especially cats, cats are the best. Did I mention that I’ve recently been diagnosed with toxoplasmosis?
Cons: I guess people who get joy from animals being sad will be upset if we fund this? idk