Commission pumps brakes on more funding for sculpture trail


AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – Ten sculptures downtown are creating quite a stir, and some city leaders are eager to make this a permanent part of the area.  

“Some of the city leaders who were at the ribbon cutting got very excited by this project and basically wanted to buy them all, so the arts council recommended that the city purchase five,” said Brenda Durant, Executive Director of the Greater Augusta Arts Council. 

Under the original agreement, the city has only agreed to spend $25 thousand to buy one statue but a commission committee recommended spending $100 thousand for five statues. Some are saying the city has other needs.  

“This is something we don’t really need so eager about right now, and concentrate on some of the things that would improve the quality of life throughout the city,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.  

To expand the sculpture trail, a committee recommended $100 thousand this year for statues, then another $100 thousand in 2023 and then maybe another $100 thousand in 2025. 

“That’s a big chunk of change and a big jump in numbers as far as it goes, I think we need to bring it back to the table and have further discussions,” said Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight.  

Some commissioners are saying voters already approved $1 million in sales tax money for gateway sculptures that haven’t move forward.  

“And we can’t see to get that up and running. I’m reluctant to give additional money to try and do some other things with statues,” said Commissioner Ben Hasan. 

Commissioners are watching their steps now when it comes to the sculpture trail downtown.

Commissioners are voting to have the Arts Council to make a presentation in 90 days on the gateway sculptures and the plans for the sculpture trail.  

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