Lexington’s council is expected to vote on establishing a public art fund later this month. The matter was discussed both in committee and during council work session earlier this week.
The ordinance calls for setting aside 1% of capital construction projects costing less than $10 million. It would allow for capturing the same amount for building projects costing more than $10 if those funds were used for an art project at the specific site. Council Member Bill Farmer anticipates the fund to generate additional interest. “This has captured the public’s imagination in ways I was unaware of and it has attracted interest from folks outside the government that I think will come in and be part of the umbrella of things to help get things done,” said Farmer.
The proposal also provides for setting funds aside on bonded capital projects. Council Members Angela Evans, Fred Brown, and Kevin Stinnett all expressed concerns about the funding method.
Evans expressed concern about designating funding. She said creative budgeting was necessary to fund homelessness services. “I just have concerns that we’re going to do this again for something that is going for the community, but to me is not a social service need,” noted Evans.
Fred Brown said he’s not opposed to public art, but is concerned about designating funds when there are existing infrastructure needs. A council vote is anticipated the end of this month.