Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JAA Votes against Rule Providing Art Money

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JAA Votes against Rule Providing Art Money

Article excerpt

Byline: Christopher Calnan, Times-Union business writer

Jacksonville airport officials want to see the merchandise before opening their wallets for public art -- maybe.

After eight months of discussion, the Jacksonville Airport Authority voted yesterday to stop setting aside a percentage of construction costs for public art. But board members said they were ready to change the new arrangement even as they approved it.

The authority had been reconsidering its agreement with the Jacksonville Airport Arts Commission since January, when JAA Executive Director John Clark said it would cost the authority too much money because of all the security-related improvements needed at Jacksonville International Airport.

Instead of creating a pool of cash for art by earmarking 1 percent of what the authority spends on construction projects, the restructured Arts Commission will propose works of art, and the authority can then consider paying for them. Any funding will come from the authority's operating revenue.

Under the previous funding formula, about $950,000 in art money was expected by the commission based on the funding generated by a $40 million parking garage project combined with a $55 million terminal expansion project. But it's wait-and-see with the new arrangement.

"They've totally eliminated [a set funding level] now, and they're not giving out a number. That's a problem," commission Chairwoman Peggy Cornelius said. "It's taking a backward step instead of moving forward."

The board also voted yesterday to change the seven-member commission to an 11-member group. The authority's new commission will have seven members appointed by the authority and four by the existing Airport Arts Commission.

Cornelius said the original seven-member commission, which is separate from the authority, hasn't considered the JAA's new proposal.

After learning that Jacksonville contractor and airport arts supporter Preston Haskell was displeased with the new arrangement, board members said yesterday they would consider other funding formulas. …

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