Some Leander parkland funds to be reallocated to public art

Public art is on display at Leander Public Library.

Public art is on display at Leander Public Library.

Updated Oct. 22 at 8:45 a.m.

Leander City Council voted unanimously Oct. 17 to adopt the ordinance reallocating a portion of parkland dedication funds to the city's Public Art Fund.

Original post Oct. 10 at 9:50 a.m.

Public art in Leander could receive more funding in the coming years due to a recent decision to reallocate some parkland funds.

Leander City Council directed city staff Oct. 3 to develop an ordinance redirecting a percentage of parkland dedication funds to the city’s Public Art Fund. A final ordinance will go before council Oct. 17, according to city spokesperson Mike Neu.

“I like the idea of getting the Public Arts Commission money to be able to do things around the city,” Mayor Pro Tem Chris Czernek said during the Oct. 3 meeting. “I think that’s our intent here.”

In Leander, developers of residential properties are required to provide a certain amount of parkland within their development. They can opt to pay a fee-in-lieu if they choose not to meet the parkland requirements. Previously, fees went solely to the Park Dedication Fund, which funds city park projects. Under the new ordinance, 15% of the fees will be redirected to the Public Art Fund.

The amount of fee-in-lieu payments the city receives fluctuates each year, according to Finance Director Robert Powers. He said in the past five years, annual fee-in-lieu payments have totaled from just under $300,000 to around $750,000.

The Leander Public Arts Commission makes recommendations on how to allocate public art funds. In the past year, the commission has pursued several projects, including putting on the city’s first Leander Art Festival and commissioning art benches to be put on display at the Leander Public Library, according to LPAC Chair Jennifer Jones.

Council voted 6-1 to make the funding change, after discussing three different options on how to reallocate funds to public arts. Council Member Christine Sederquist opposed.

Sederquist, who is the council liaison to LPAC, said she thinks the change should have been put before LPAC before council decided to move forward. The Leander Planning and Zoning Commission also recommended council refer to LPAC for input on the ordinance, according to city documents.

“I’m fine with more money going to arts,” Sederquist said during the Oct. 3 meeting. “I think it should go to arts, but if we’re going to do it, do it right and follow our own rules and make sure we’re being responsible in what we’re doing.”
By Marisa Charpentier

Reporter, Cedar Park | Leander

Marisa Charpentier joined Community Impact in September 2018. After working as an intern, she became a reporter for the Cedar Park | Leander edition in October 2018. Charpentier graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with degrees in journalism and Plan II Honors.


shaved ice trailer
Hawaiian shaved ice trailer opening in Cedar Park

LocoSnoCo will open June 26 in Cedar Park.

Heather Sánchez
Leander ISD hires new area superintendent

Heather Sánchez will be a new area superintendent at Leander ISD.

Wag-A-Bag is headquartered in Round Rock. (Megan Cardona/Community Impact Newspaper)
Wag-A-Bag to operate under new ownership, name; Austin, TxDOT at odds over I-35 overhaul; and more top Central Texas news

Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from the Austin area.

bagdad road leander
New Leander transportation plan outlines $320 million in road projects over 10 years

The plan lays out a few projects for the city to consider each year.

Road closure stock image
TxDOT to demolish I-35 ramp in North Austin early Saturday morning

State crews will perform controlled implosions of the northbound I-35 to northbound US 183 flyover between 6-8 a.m. in the morning on May 8 and May 15.

Leander ISD admin building
Leander ISD board approves 2% raise for district staff in 2021-22 school year

If financial parameters are met, the increase could be raised to 3% or additional one-time stipends could be approved in the future.

ashely homestore
Ashley HomeStore opens in Cedar Park plus 3 more new local businesses

The mattress and furniture store is located on East Whitestone Boulevard.

city hall
Leander requests facilities plan for growing city staff, building needs

City hall, the police department building, the parks and recreation building and the public works facility are either at capacity or undersized for staff volumes, according to the city.

Here are the most recent coronavirus updates from Williamson County. (Community Impact staff)
Here is what you need to know about COVID-19 in Williamson County

Here are the most recent coronavirus updates from Williamson County.

Residential appraisal valuations have been sent to Travis County property owners. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis Central Appraisal Districts says hot housing market is reflected in 2021 appraisals

Property owners have until May 17 to file a protest of their home's appraisal.