Public art isn't just some crackpot idea for bigger for affluent cities.

According to the National Assembly of State Art Agencies public art or percent for art programs are active in 25 states. In Washington State half of 1% of capital appropriations for new construction (and renovation projects exceeding $200,000 for universities and colleges) is allocated for the acquisition and conservation of artwork, as per state statute.Capital projects include K-12 public schools, state colleges and universities, and state buildings. The state has its rules and local jurisdictions have their rules. The Bins of Light project originally slated for the face of the new Lincoln Ave. underpass no longer has rules that apply to it.

About 680-thousand dollars remain from the combined project of Lincoln and MLK and as former Mayor Paul George pointed out in a letter to the editor in the Herald today, the original intent by the council was to install public art. $100-thousand dollars has already been spent in design.  So, now that we find there is no longer a jurisdictional requirement for art with the remaining money—what should city council do.

There is always something to repair or fix or upgrade or purchase within the city .  But the idea of public art has importance too.  Is it frivolous to invest in art?  Can most Yakamanians appreciate the value and contribution public art makes to the community.  What about differing tastes in art?  Your masterpiece may be my unacceptable rough draft.

There is plenty for the council to chew on tonight.  Join us for the follow up tomorrow on the Morning News.