In the past decade, two programs created by the city of Grand Forks have been making recommendations on how to spend millions of dollars in art and special events money.
City meeting minutes going back at least 10 years show suggestions from the Art Re-Grant and Special Events programs were rarely a source of controversy.
The same can’t be said for this year.
Pushback from local organizations and concerns about the committees’ procedures threw the programs into the spotlight and under the microscope of City Council.
“We had to tighten things up a bit,” said Council President Hal Gershman.
The tightening has earned the council some rancor from residents unhappy with its choices. The pushback has council members reminding residents that not every city has these programs.
“We’re very fortunate to have government that supports arts and special events at the level we do,” Gershman said.
Since 2001 the Arts Re-Grant Program and Special Events programs have awarded $1.3 million and $1.4 million respectively to local organizations for events and programs.
Continue reading this story here. You can view the program’s 12-year spending history below.