Council supports the arts, contributes funds

Written by Muleskinner Staff

By MICHAEL FREEMAN (WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) – In an effort to sustain the city’s growing appreciation of the arts, the City Council on Monday agreed to allocate $3,300 to the Warrensburg Arts Commission.
Gary Grigsby, of the Arts Commission, offered the council some positive and negative news. He said the commission rejected all artwork submissions for the 10-foot concrete circle project on West Pine Street.
Eight artists from around the country submitted 12 designs for the contest, yet Grigsby said the committee decided none of the designs represented the spirit of downtown Warrensburg.
“We did not feel that any submission met the exuberance of the downtown arts and entertainment district,” Grigsby said.
As a result, the committee is extending the submission deadline and postponing the painting of the concrete circle until spring 2013.
Although this is a minor setback for the arts, Councilman Dr. Curt Dyer commended the commission for its achievements in recent years.
“The Arts Commission has been a blessing to my family and to this community,” he said.
Grigsby referenced the community theatre program as an accomplishment of the Arts Commission, which recently put on “Narnia: The Musical” and “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” Grigsby said projects like these need initial funding, but they can become profitable.
Dyer said he did not like the idea of refusing funding for the Arts Commission after all the momentum it has gained. No funding was allocated to the arts in the previous city budget. The commission is currently operating with funds left over from previous years, but the balance is dwindling.
Councilman Baird Brock made the motion to provide $3,300 for the Warrensburg Arts Commission – $2,500 for general funding and another $800 to reimburse expenses for the concrete circle project on Pine Street.
“I think we need to put up a small amount of money so we can move forward with the Arts Commission,” Brock said.
The council voted to approve the budget amendment, although it was not decided from where the funds would be taken.
In other news, the council voted to temporarily amend an ordinance prohibiting the consumption alcoholic beverages on the street. The amendment was made to accommodate the Pine Street ribbon-cutting ceremony tonight. Festivities are from 5-8 p.m.
The council also approved an ordinance authorizing the city to execute a contract with Heartland Waste for a fall citywide bulky waste cleanup. Heartland Waste will also handle a similar fall citywide brush and limb cleanup. These will take place during the last two weeks of October.
In another ordinance, council members authorized the city to carry out a facilities extension agreement with Kansas City Power and Light for the north pump station and interceptor force main project in Warrensburg.