Lynnwood City Council debates public art projects

The Council has already approved a lighted sculpture for the new rec center. Graphic from the city of Lynnwood.

Lynnwood City Council members are taking another look at the 1% public arts ordinance as they address the city’s budget shortfall.

The debate centers around a proposed $30,000 reflexology path for the new rec center. The Council already has approved a $130,000 lighted sculpture for the project.

“When we’ve just raised taxes on our constituents, I don’t think that spending one percent of capital projects is prudent. And I think it needs to be revisited,” Council member Kerri Lonegran said at Monday night’s council meeting. “My personal preference would be that we suspend this ordinance until at least the end of this year and revisit it for next year with probably a different allocation.”

Council member Loren Simmonds argued in favor of leaving the ordinance as is.

“This building that is being built right now, even though the economic times are not the best, is going to be here when you and I are long gone. We’re talking about a long-term, 30-year building. I don’t think we want to get too short sighted, because when you look at a $30,000 thing in relationship to a $22 million budget, we shouldn’t even be sitting here talking about it,” Simmonds said.

“I think if you go away from the one percent for the arts, you come back to a very sterile place with no art, with no humanity to it,” he added.

So far a date has not been set for the Council to revisit the issue.

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