Calgary city council requested a report on options for including public art along the new west light rail transit line.

Council decided Monday to spend money on public art on the new leg — how much, where the art will go and when it will be completed has yet to be determined. 

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he's glad the project got the green light.

"It's a fair amount of money but it's also a very small percentage of the money that the transportation department spends," he said. "So when we look at the pools of money that are available we should be able to find the money for the art."

Council also agreed to pool money from other transport projects in order to fund the art project.


The new West LRT line is seen in this City of Calgary drawing. (City of Calgary)

Under the city's policy of allocating one per cent of a project's budget to public art, about $8.6 million must be spent on art to decorate the new $1.4 billion LRT line.

A city council committee voted earlier this month to hold off on committing the funds to the art project, asking instead for the city’s art policy to be reviewed.

Council ultimately went against that decision Monday.

Nenshi said he wishes there was no hesitation on how to spend the money when the project started.

"I have a couple of regrets here," he said. "The first is that that money wasn't part of the budget in the first place. It's a relatively small percentage of the budget and I don't understand the purpose of leaving it out. It certainly didn't make a difference to the final approval of the budget."

A report back to council is expected in September.

The West LRT will open in early 2013.