Mayor Jon Netts and City Manager Jim Landon agree banners on Palm Coast Parkway could be used better.
The arts deserve more funding because they attract visitors from out of town and improve the quality of life in Palm Coast. That’s the argument the Flagler County Art League made Tuesday, Dec. 7, at the City Council meeting.
Robert Ammon, president of the Flagler County Art League, said, “I’m disappointed at the city’s decision to cut funding … It’s a non-profit organization. Any money made on this goes back into funding services for the residents of Palm Coast.”
The Art League is also upset that the city has reduced to eight the number of promotional purple banners that can be flown on light poles on Palm Coast Parkway, over the I-95 bridge. City Manager Jim Landon said he wanted to let other organizations use the space, too.
Art League member Ann Delucia asked if the city would let the organization use the pole space if no one else is using it, and as a result of the discussion, Mayor Jon Netts indicated he’d be interested in cooperating, calling it an in-kind contribution from the city.
Landon agreed. He said it would be more complicated to arrange to have the banners brought up and down based on requests, but, “We like complicated.”
Art League member Stephanie Salkin said the banners help to let people know the nature of Palm Coast.
“If you have an active arts program, you will attract a lot of people,” she said. When she first moved to the city, she immediately noticed the banners. “I said, ‘Look! Palm Coast supports the arts! We moved to the right place.”
The Art League and Hollingsworth Gallery team up to host an art show 6 to 9 p.m. on the second Saturday of every month. Art League member Trish Menninger said about 200 to 400 people attend.
Mayor urges driver caution
In a reference to the deaths of Frederick Gleissner (see Page 1) and other travelers on I-95 (see Page 3), Netts urged drivers to be cautious.
“The number of tragic auto accidents far exceeds anything we’ve seen in the past,” he said. “Please take a couple extra minutes and drive carefully ... Let the other guy go, if he’s in a rush, and let’s enjoy the holidays.”
City Hall funding won’t tap reserves
Landon said the $10 million proposal to build City Hall will not touch the city’s reserves. He said the city has about $3 million in its general fund reserve and another $2 million in its disaster fund.
“The idea that we’ll scrape the bottom of the barrel for a capital project is just not how we do business in Palm Coast,” he said. He added that the city is currently spending $240,000 per year of property tax money to rent space at City Marketplace.