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Scissortail Park, MAPS 3 Senior Health and Wellness Centers and the MAPS 4 Fairgrounds Coliseum will have boosted budgets thanks in large part to MAPS 3 capital sales tax collections that exceeded expectations.
The Oklahoma City Council voted Tuesday to allocate about $33 million in additional MAPS 3 sales tax collections to the projects:
- $19 million to buy and renovate Union Station to incorporate it into Scissortail Park, along with improvements to the park’s lower section and a connection to the Oklahoma River.
- $9 million for the MAPS 4 Fairgrounds Coliseum.
- $4.975 million to three of the MAPS 3 senior centers:
- $2.2 million for Center No. 4 (to be located on Western Avenue south of SW 134th Street).
- $1.8 million for Center. No. 3 (to be located at NE 36th Street and Lincoln Boulevard).
- $975,000 for Center No. 1 (11501 N Rockwell Ave., healthylivingokc.com).
A strong economy throughout most of the MAPS 3 temporary sales tax collection period boosted collections beyond projections. MAPS 3’s Oklahoma City Convention Center project also came in well under budget, returning more money to the program. Other additional money comes from interest and unused contingency funds.
MAPS 3 sales tax collections are by law required to fund capital improvement projects. The City Council has discretion on how to spend the funds, as long as it’s for capital projects and not operations or other uses.
About the projects
Union Station sits at the southwest corner of Scissortail Park’s upper section. The City’s Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority (COTPA) owns the building and has offices in it. The City will buy and renovate it to incorporate it into the park.
Other parts of the newly approved funding will pay for further improvements to Scissortail Park’s 30-acre Lower Park, including a better connection to the Oklahoma River south of SW 15th Street. Construction is scheduled to begin this year and finish in 2021.
The Fairgrounds Coliseum is partially funded by $63 million of MAPS 4 funds. The rest of the funding will come from Tuesday’s Council action and at least $25 million from hotel tax revenues already earmarked for fairgrounds improvements. It will be the new home of major national, state and local events that attract visitors from around the world who boost the local economy with their spending.
The improvements at the MAPS 3 Senior Health and Wellness Centers are to ensure parking lots, locker rooms and other facilities will meet anticipated demand. The first center has already been expanded with additional public and private funds after initial demand exceeded expectations. That prompted the use of the additional funding for the new centers to help meet needs from day one.
About MAPS 3
MAPS 3 is a $777 million capital improvement program to improve the quality of life in Oklahoma City. It’s funded by a 1-cent sales tax initiative that began in April 2010 and ended in December 2017. MAPS 3 funds eight projects: Downtown Convention Center, Downtown Public Park, Modern Streetcar/Transit, Oklahoma River Improvements, Oklahoma State Fairgrounds Improvements, Senior Health and Wellness Centers, Trails and Sidewalks. Visit okc.gov/maps3 for details.