Arts ordinance idea still alive |

Arts ordinance idea still alive

John Barrette

A three-pronged approach to funding public art was agreed upon in general terms, and an ordinance will be drafted for consideration by Carson City’s Cultural Commission and Board of Supervisors.

Agreement came during the commission’s Tuesday meeting, at which members voted unanimously to have city staffers draft specific language based on the trio of financing methods: redevelopment authority money; a small percentage of each capital project; and private-sector donations. The mayor and supervisors voted 3-2 to reject the last plan, but didn’t close the door on the general idea.

“They basically asked us to try again,” said Vern Krahn, city parks planner. The previous plan called for 1.25 percent of general fund capital improvement money to be dedicated to public art and its maintenance.

The first facet of the new plan would split any redevelopment authority money for arts-related purposes between performing arts events and community arts project grants. Krahn said, providing an example, that about one-third of the 2013-14 fiscal year’s redevelopment authority funding went for arts-related matters, and that was about $21,000.

The second facet would call for a fixed percentage of each major new or renovation building project that has a furniture, fixtures and equipment budget to be spent on public art. The placeholder percentage used for discussion purposes was 1 percent, but that could be altered. The third aspect provides a vehicle for accepting and using private donations for public art.

Roger Moellendorf, Parks and Recreation Department director, was asked the difference between the capital projects percentage for arts in the new plan and the former ordinance proposal, which sought 1.25 percent from general fund capital improvement project financing. He said this is on a project-by-project basis rather than dipping into the general fund capital improvements budget.

The commission discussed naming the ordinance for the late Jeffrey Scott, former commission chairman, but was provided a legal opinion advising against it. Supervisor Karen Abowd, who is on the commission, asked about naming a program in the ordinance for him and was told that would pass legal muster.