Art Program 2

(United City of Yorkville image)

At their meeting this week, members of the Yorkville City Council's Economic Development committee started preliminary discussions on a proposed downtown art program.

As WSPY reported last week, Yorkville Community Development Director Krysti Barksdale-Noble said the city plans to establish qualified artists to commission art applications such as paintings, murals, etc. and provide art on utility boxes or other utilitarian structures like poles, fire hydrants, and manhole covers within the downtown.

Alderman Joel Frieders, who has worked on business development in downtown Aurora, says public art has enticed thousands of pictures, tying people to a certain spot that communities take pride in.

He also made a recommendation.

Aldermen and Barksdale-Noble mentioned a few surrounding communities and communities around the country that have created art programs.

Communities like Aurora utilize a combination of public funds set aside and a property owner pays for a permit. Batavia's public art was also mentioned.

Funding for Yorkville's program could vary whether through general fund monies or combinations of other sources, depending on the project, including tax increment financing dollars, private donations, business sponsorships, grant monies, fees collected from artists and/or allocation of a specified percentage of the value of private development on an identified site for public art.

Alderman Frieders suggested polling downtown businesses about artists and their opinions on creation. Alderwoman Jackie Milschewski suggested getting area school art teachers involved. Alderman Ken Koch suggested having the city's parks and recreation department aid in fundraising.

Barksdale-Noble said she will take the feedback to create a policy to bring back to the committee for discussion, likely in January.

In other items, the committee forwarded a Tax Increment Financing Inducement resolution for the former Kendall County Farm Bureau building to the city council next week. Developers are working through a plan to create apartments on the first and second floor of the building, and to create a commercial space on the lower level, but are expected to ask the city for TIF assistance which will be discussed in the future.

The inducement is essentially a formality as the current property owner, who has an inducement resolution already, is selling to the developers.