Those potential arts, culture and downtown business cuts

The potential dissolution of redevelopment agencies isn’t just a problem for large-scale projects such as the development surrounding the South Hayward BART station or Mission Boulevard improvements. We had a story on Monday about how many of the city’s art and cultural programs are in jeopardy.

2012CommProHere’s a breakdown of what programs receive how much money through redevelopment, as seen on page 10 of this report. Click on it for a larger view.

The staff recommendation was largely based on an across-the-board slash to funding. There will be further talks on the matter at the May 2 Council Economic Development Committee meeting before a recommendation is made to the City Council.

And as mentioned in the story, the Downtown Business Improvement Area also received half its budget via redevelopment funds. According to a report from the last meeting, the total budget was $112,140 last year, with $55,000 coming from business owners, $55,000 from redevelopment funds and $2,140 from reserves.

DBIA2011That was allocated for 2010-2011 in the manner illustrated at right. The events, which make up the largest category, include the Summer Street Parties and Light Up the Season. According to Chamber of Commerce President Kim Huggett, the advisory board will meet again next month to discuss how to divvy up the remaining funds.

Any thoughts on how limited remaining funds should be allocated, in regards to arts and culture programs as well as downtown business improvements? As was said in the story in regards to arts/culture, while trimming across the board may be equitable, it could prove to be a death knell for more programs than if some kind of triage system were utilized.

Eric Kurhi

  • I really resent any more money being designated to downtown improvements. We have spent far too much on “beautification” and have yet to see any real returns in the form of business dollars and cents. Any available money should be dedicated to the Arts and Cultural events that provide citizens with a sense of pride.

  • Michael Moore

    That Redevelopment money is spent on events like the Zucchini Festival, Block Parties and the Blues Event are symptomatic of the sorry management by the RDA. Redevelopment money was supposed to be used for public housing and urban blight. We certainly have a lot of that still. That the state will take this slush fund away from the cities is now an almost certainty. The money should have been spent on the infrastructure not on the arts and cultural events.