Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Grand Forks groups see potential

Grand Forks groups see potential, weigh options in 42nd corridor plans 

The arts corridor was envisioned by Mike Kuntz, principal architect of Icon Architects in Grand Forks. Through his work, Kuntz said, he's traveled to different cities that have public art projects, which inspired him to look at public art options in Grand Forks."42nd is a fairly clean palate, so as a developer or architect you just kind of dream of what that could be," Kuntz said.And being right by Interstate 29 would give a lot of visibility to the proposed tall, illuminated sculptures between DeMers Avenue and 32nd Avenue South, drawing people to Grand Forks, Kuntz said. "It's a great opportunity."Kuntz brought the idea to Kristi Mishler,wholesale cheap Oakley Grade AAA Sunglasses sale from homepage. executive director of the Community Foundation. Although the sculptures seem ambitious, Kuntz and Mishler agreed that they're possible.The Community Foundation gathered some initial funds, including a $50,000 match grant from the Knight Foundation. 

The city has $150,000 in beautification funds reserved, but that money has yet to be released to the project,Isuzu Auto Parts pending a memorandum of understanding requLululemon Women's Pantsested by the City Council Finance/Development Committee.City staff, Mishler, Jacobs, Kuntz and Barry Wilfahrt, president and CEO of the Chamber of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, are working on the MOU, said Greg Hoover,paper honeycomb director of Urban Development. When finished, the MOU should outline the city's role in the public-private partnership and should answer questions like: Who will own this public art? What entity will pay for maintaining the sculptures? 

"I think structure of ownership is the key question," Mishler said.Nike Air Max It's likely a new nonprofit would be created to own and maintain the public art, she said.City Council members have said they worry the responsibility and cost of maintaining the arts corridor will eventually fall on the city and the public's tax dollars.Hal Gershman, City Council president, said he likes the public art idea if it's executed in a way that's "dramatic," but he hopes the MOU will require a private endowment for maintaining the art, "so that the future costs never fall back on the public."

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