Chico, Calif.—On Tuesday night the Chico City council unanimously approved that $10,000 go toward establishing an annual Public Art Maintenance Capital Project in the next fiscal year.
Some say it's a good investment considering the economic impact that the arts have in not only here in Chico, but all of Butte County.
"It both beautifies and enriches everyone's life," said Stephen Cummins, chairman of the Chico Arts Commission.
Back in January, the commission asked the council to look at how the arts would be funded and to create funds that would be allocated for the arts and public services separately.
"The hope is that those funds that are earmarked for maintenance, once everything is maintained can be directed fo funding, commissioning new artwork in the community," Cummins said.
The city gave $50,000 to be allocated for community organizations.
Since the arts was given $10,000, that leaves $40,000 to be given to public services.
One of the recommendations was to use that money toward 24-hour public restrooms, but the council voted to instead redirect that funding to municipal services that are currently underfunded.
Councilor Mark Sorensen said the city has to focus on "core services: police, fire, parks, roads, public infrastructure more than ever."
Cummins said there are several art projects in the city that would benefit from these funds, but that "there's much more maintenance than $10,000 dollars can cover, so this will be an ongoing project year after year.”
A subcommittee has been established by the council and they are currently looking at other ways to fund the arts such as public and private partnerships.
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