Public art funding cut from drainage obligation proposal

A citizens’ committee tasked with making recommendations for drainage bond projects voted Wednesday to divert public art funding to other drainage projects.

The committee met Wednesday night and voted to invest $ 165 million in 21 drainage and flood control projects; this list will go to city council early next year. The entire 2022 bond package is $ 1.2 billion and will be split into six different bond proposals in the May ballot.

District 7 committee member Bianca Maldonado said she supports removing the public art pledge from the drainage bond proposal, given the importance of city-wide drainage projects. .

“I’m a little embarrassed that we didn’t get more money in our category, given the size of the $ 1.2 billion bond,” she said. “The needs are great.

An ordinance states that 1% of bond programs must go to public art projects. City staff recommended increasing that artistic commitment to 1.5% in October. But city council can vote to bypass this 1% public art pledge, ADeputy CEO Rod Sanchez told committee members on Wednesday.

District 1 committee member Caleb Etheredge said he was concerned that public art might be seen as an “afterthought.”

“Art is really part of the city and the quality of life is very important,” he said.

Mark Camann, representing District 5 as an alternate committee member, said that even though he voted for 1.5% of the street bond proposal to be spent on public art, he would support the complete cut. of this part of the drainage bond proposal due to the impact of flood control. projects have.

“On Monday I argued for keeping the 1.5% in our committee – streets, bridges and sidewalks – because we need better streets, we need better sidewalks, but we also need better sidewalks. ‘art, “he said. “But tonight I’m going to vote for us to cut funding for this committee, drainage and flood control… because when it comes to drainage, people’s lives are on the line.”

With the $ 2.47 million in funding originally allocated to public art, the committee added to its final recommendations two previously un-recommended projects: work on Barbara Drive in District 1 and improvements to Quentin Alley in District. 7.

Other recommended projects include drainage improvements on Marbach Road in West San Antonio for $ 15.8 million and in the Peggy Drive area in East San Antonio for $ 20 million. Find here the complete list of projects recommended by the Drainage Connections Committee.

City council is due to hear recommendations from bond committees in January and approve final proposed projects in February.

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