New Abbotsford fire halls may need art

Policy to set aside one per cent of budget for new projects for public art may not have been followed, Coun. Dave Loewen suggests.

Coun. Dave Loewen suggested the city may be in contravention of its bylaw by not including any public art at two newly built fire halls.

Coun. Dave Loewen suggested the city may be in contravention of its bylaw by not including any public art at two newly built fire halls.

Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service may have contravened the city’s public art policy, Coun. Dave Loewen suggested Monday.

In 2011, the city adopted a policy that would see one per cent of the budget of each new capital project, up to $300,000, set aside for public art displays at new facilities.

The policy, along with projects that stemmed from it, was reviewed for council Monday, and prompted Loewen to ask whether the newly built Mt. Lehman and Matsqui fire halls have any public art.

Fire Chief Don Beer said no art had been included in the projects. A request for proposals had been issued, he said, but only one response was received, and it was not appropriate. Instead, the money had been set aside in a fund for other projects.

Loewen, though, noted: “The policy says the new art will be applied to that specific project … so if we apply that elsewhere we may be in contravention of our own policy.”

He suggested staff take a second look at the policy to ensure it is being followed.

Loewen also asked about art at the city’s new turf fields, near Mouat secondary. Heidi Enns, the city’s general manager of parks, recreation and culture, said the banners, design of the pathways and plaza, and the facade of stairways were considered public art in accordance with the bylaw.

 

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