City council approve public art plan for West LRT
New plan to be debated by city council later this month
A city hall committee has approved a new plan to fund million of dollars of public art along the West LRT train line.
On Wednesday, aldermen approved spending $3.5 million in funding taken from other transportation projects for public art on the C-Train line.
The move comes after officials neglected to follow a city policy that states one per cent of a capital project's budget, or around $8 million, should be set aside for public art.
Ward 8 alderman, John Mar, whose ward includes the West LRT, said the city is obligated to follow its public art policy. But Ward 12 Ald. Shane Keating said he was disappointed by the committee's decision.
"What we're doing is we're taking funds for public art from all over the city, 26 different projects, to fulfill a deficit in one project. And I don't think that's fair to the rest of the citizens of Calgary."
Mayor Naheed Nenshi has said he's not happy about the plan, but it seems like a workable compromise.
"This is correcting an error that was made by the previous council and administration," said Nenshi. "The transportation department has done that without any impact to the taxpayer, is probably a good way of correcting the error."
"[I] certainly wouldn't want to make this a habit, and we won't make a habit by not making this mistake in the future."
The new plan will be debated by city council later this month. Even if council accepts the idea, no public art would be installed on the West LRT route until at least 2014.