The city's commitment to public art displays could receive a big boost in 1991, if the Lawrence City Commission continues following a policy initiated in 1986.
The Lawrence Arts Commission, drawing upon a policy that dates to Sandy Praeger's days as mayor, will ask the city commission to earmark $34,749 in the 1991 city budget for the purchase of art for public display.
The arts commission proposal will be one of several agencies outside of city hall requesting funds in the 1991 city budget. The groups will meet with the commission in a 3:30 p.m. study session Monday at city hall.
THE "PERCENT for art" policy allows the commission to set aside 2 percent of the cost of capital improvements undertaken by the city in the previous year. Those proceeds then are turned over to the Lawrence Arts Commission for the purchase of and placement of artwork in public places.
Kelly Arnold, city management analyst, said that the near-$35,000 request for the percent for art program can be attributed to a single capital improvement project undertaken this year.
"There is one project that is eligble for consideration for the 1991 percent for art program . . . the Riverfront parking garage," Arnold told commissioners in a memo. The city spent $1.74 million this year to construct the garage, and that translates into the $34,749 request from the Lawrence Arts Commission for 1991.
CITY MANAGER Mike Wildgen said the request for the coming year is by far the arts commission's largest yet under the policy. During the current fiscal year, $4,220 has been budgeted for the program; in 1989, for example, the budget was zero.
Wildgen pointed out that the city commission is not required to fund the percent for arts request.
"The resolution says the commission may budget the money. It's a policy, not an ordinance. It's not written in stone," he said.
The percent for art is just one of a number of outside agency requests for funding out of the city's 1991 general fund, according to information released by the city manager's office.
THE Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department submitted the largest request for funding, $225,300 in 1991, up 5 percent over the 1990 budget of $214,600. The department, which is funded in part both by the city and county, is adding two new programs in the coming year.
Other requests submitted include: Lawrence Humane Society, $92,000, up $4,000 from 1990; Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging, $3,000, equal to 1990 funding; Lawrence Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Marketing Program, $50,000, equal to 1990 funding; Lawrence City Band, $5,500, equal to 1990 funding; Warm Hearts, $5,000, equal to 1990 funding; Salvation Army Safe House, $8,000, up $120 from 1990; The Shelter, $19,564, which received no funding in 1990; Douglas County Legal Aid, $14,129, whose total city allocation was paid for through the Community Development Block Grant program in 1990.
In addition to the general fund proposals, the commission also will study outside agency requests in the library fund, special recreation fund, guest tax fund and special alcohol fund.