OKC Civic Life for Monday, May 18, 2020
MAPS 4 generated an estimated $3.3 million in revenue in the first two weeks after the 1-cent sales tax took effect April 1. With the transfer of $9 million from MAPS 3 to MAPS 4 to hasten design of the new Fairgrounds Coliseum, the official projected MAPS 4 budget is $987 million. If MAPS 4 performs as well as MAPS 3 — 3.3% above projections — between now and when the temporary tax expires in eight years, it could bring in $1.05 billion, including interest.
Of note: Reluctant to use "billion" and "MAPS 4" in the same sentence in the run-up to last December's election — in which MAPS 4 passed with more than 70% of the vote — Mayor David Holt now calls MAPS 4 "a billion-dollar stimulus waiting for us on the other side" of the COVID-19 pandemic.
MAPS 4 will be governed by a volunteer Citizens Advisory Board and six volunteer subcommittees, overseeing 16 projects organized under the headings Neighborhoods, Connectivity, Venues, Community, Innovation District and Civil Rights Center. The 11-member Citizens Advisory Board will be seated next week, the mayor said Sunday. Its role will be to make recommendations to the city council on spending priorities. Final decisions rest with the council.
Quote of the week
"You will notice on the charts for the cases and deaths 14-day trends for the city of OKC, OKC metro counties, and statewide the number of new cases per day is trending upwards but the number of new deaths per day is holding reasonably steady."
— Frank Barnes, Oklahoma City's emergency management director, in Saturday night's COVID-19 situation update. The report listed 836 cumulative cases in Oklahoma City, up from 718 a week earlier. "The more testing you do the more positive cases you will likely find," Barnes wrote. "The number of new deaths and hospitalizations per day are the ones to keep an eye on."
Tweet of the week
"Coronavirus in Oklahoma: State PPE czar lashes out at critics"
— @The Oklahoman. Follow pandemic coverage in The Oklahoman and with a digital subscription to oklahoman.com.
Coronavirus in OKC: Data points
City government responses open a window on the effect the pandemic is having on residents:
• Residents set out 18% more trash in April than they did in the same month in 2019.
• The Utilities director says the number of households behind on their monthly bill has leveled out at around 10,500 but the amount they owe, already more than $3.2 million, is increasing.
• The city released a list last week of about 100 businesses receiving a total of about $2 million from the $5.9 million in small-business relief approved by the city council.
• The Parks Department announced the grass in city parks will be mowed only once every three weeks this summer.
• Bus ridership in April declined 65% from April 2019.
The mayor and eight city council members attended last week's teleconference meeting.
The city council meets May 26 at 8:30 a.m. Find teleconference instructions and the agenda under the Government tab at okc.gov.
Staff writer William Crum; email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @williamcrum