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city merritt council

Murals were the hot topic at council yesterday evening, with the discussions around a trio of proposed mural dragging on for nearly an hour.

Following Coun. Mike Bhangu pulling his motion for a cultural mural, the council was speaking to just two, the sports and recreation mural, and the downtown beautification art project.

It was stated by City Staff that the sports mural, which was approved by Council in 2019 was firm, leaving the council to debate the funding source and amount for the Arts Council to complete the downtown beautification project.

In August, the Arts Council presented to the council asking for $5,000 to complete the project which is part of the council’s economic recovery task force initiatives.

After much discussion, Councillor Melvina White asked why the funding couldn’t come from the Rural Dividend Grant as opposed to council contingency.

Confirmation was given from staff that the change would be possible, and the debate then shifted to $5,000 versus $10,000. As the debate continued, Councillor Tony Luck became frustrated.

“This is just unbelievable how long we’ve taken to decide. First of all, I’m not going to support an additional $5,000, they came here requested $5,000 they can do the job with $5,000. This doesn’t include the sports mural, this is just for some sidewalk art, this is crazy how long this has taken us to decide on funding the arts council. I’m supporting the additional funds, and we need to get on with this,” stated Luck.

In the end, the motion was passed to fund the Arts Council with $5,000 from grant funding to complete the project.

Using grant funding did result in a change to the grant funding as $5,000 needed to be cut from another project.


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