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Basalt Considers Eliminating 'One Percent For The Arts' Program

Jan 20, 2020

"Motio 2.0.1," part of a public art installation in Basalt
Credit Basalt Public Arts Commission

Basalt town council is considering cutting the little-used “One Percent For The Arts” program. It was intended to help fund the town’s public art, but officials say it’s proven impractical. 

At a council meeting last week, town manager Ryan Mahoney said that the program, which requires one percent of the cost of constructing or remodeling town buildings go toward public art, was a good concept, in theory. 

"But, in practice, we haven’t been consistent about collecting that one percent for the arts or charging ourselves for it," he said.

Mahoney said that the town has had to cut back on making improvements to roads and buildings, and that the extra cost for the program put those projects even further out of reach. 

He noted that Basalt does support public art with two real-estate transfer assesments; part of those funds go toward the Basalt Public Arts Commission to be distributed through grants for public art projects. In addition, the Arts Campus at Willits, which is looking to break ground on a performing arts center this year, received one million dollars in funding from one of the RETA taxes. 

The public can comment on eliminating the program at council’s meeting on January 28th.