New sculptures will cost the city $1 million. So, how will your tax money be spent?

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Thursday, August 29, 2019
News 12 at 11 O'Clock

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- New sculptures are coming to Augusta, but not everyone is thrilled about it.

"It's expected when you do something like this for the first time," said Brenda Durant, Executive Director of the Greater Augusta Arts Council. "It's new. It's different. It's taxpayer money."

That's what has some people on social media so upset.

"People might say 'why would you put a sculpture up when there's still not a sidewalk in front of my house?'" Durant said.

The answer is pretty simple, it's not up to the arts council. There is an allocated a certain amount of money from the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) fund. Officials approved the fund back in 2015.

A full breakdown of the fund can be found on the city's website, but here's an explanation for the part dealing with the sculptures.

The total SPLOST fund is $215,550,000. It's broken down into five categories: public safety, quality of life, general government, infrastructure and facilities, and Blythe and Hephzibah.

The quality of life category receives $28 million. $1 million of that goes towards the Augusta Public Art Infusion Project, which comes out to .46 percent of the total fund. For some context, infrastructure and facilities takes up 56.9 percent of the total fund.

"We are doing infrastructure improvements and the great news is we have a little money left for some great art as well," Durant said.

The only thing left to do is choose the sculpture that will be at the city's gateways.

To vote, go to the municipal building or click here. Voting is open for two weeks.

For more information on the project, click here.

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