Bowling Green City Commission Passes Budget

By: Ryan Dearbone
By: Ryan Dearbone

The City Commission voted unanimously this morning to pass the second reading of the 2006-2007 budget.

Before the vote took place, Commissioner Delane Simpson made one final appeal to his fellow Commissioners to allocate money for the Bowling Green Chamber Orchestra and the Bowling Green-Western Symphony Orchestra.

His request was again denied.

Both orchestras were seeking funds from this year's budget, prepared by City Manager Kevin DeFebbo, with the Chamber Orchestra asking for just over $10,338 and the Symphony Orchestra wanting $2,668 dollars in funding.

Commissioners Brian "Slim" Nash, Brian Strow and Mark Alcott opposed giving the orchestras' money over other capital improvements such as roads and other projects.

So they voted two weeks ago not to fund the two programs despite the urging of Mayor Elaine Walker and Commissioner Simpson.

The idea was once again denied last week at the first reading of the budget.

"I think that if you examine that, its important for all of us to realize the arts are such an important part of our lifestyle that we really need to protect it," notes Mayor Walker.

"I believe it is my responsibility on the City Commission not to just look at this year but the future. Long after I'm not a City Commissioner. Long after I'm not even alive. What is the financial responsibility we need to be setting for the city going forward?" says Commissioner Nash.

In the newly approved budget, Mayor Walker says that 5/100th of 1 percent of the budget actually went to the arts.

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