Newport City Council encourages arts community to work toward running the VAC sustainably while minimizing city subsidies.
There was another meeting of the minds at the Newport City Council Monday night – those who want to save the Visual Arts Center at Nye Beach and those who want to save the city of Newport from having to continue to support the center in light of heavy financial burdens caused by looming costly sewer and water renovations throughout the city.
In late September word hit the streets that the city council was thinking about selling the center as a cost cutting move. The council has been saying for weeks that there was no serious intent to do anything of the sort but that coming up with a strategy to provide three million dollars a year to fund sewer and water upgrades forced them to list all city assets as possible sources of revenue to ease the crush of such a heavy financial burden. They also said they want to avoid steep increases to sewer and water bills for customers, especially low income residents who are already financially strapped due to the prolonged recession.
The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts (OCCA) presented the council Monday night with a re-write of a resolution the city itself proposed to envision a way forward with Newport area arts boosters. The city says it wants to find a strategy to lower the city’s financial responsibility for the VAC. The council looked at the rewrite and said they agree with it, as amended.
So, the council adopted the resolution, #3650, sort of a master plan for organizing a concerted push by the arts community, in partnership with the city, to create a sustainable financial trajectory for the VAC in the years ahead. The resolution also mentions that the OCCA will present a financial plan to the city council in March of next year to help ease the VAC’s support burden on the city.