BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Funding fight. A new mural project in Baltimore is creating controversy. The city is planning to spend nearly $50,000 to create 5-10 murals in blighted neighborhoods. But some say it’s a bad way to spend city money.
Meghan McCorkell has more on the money flap.
The Board of Estimates has postponed a vote on the project. The City Council president calls it a waste of money.
Turning the corner near East Eager Avenue, it’s larger than life: a giant mural, a preview of the “Love Letter to Baltimore” project, which is set to cost the city nearly $50,000.
“Why spend that money? It’s a waste of taxpayers’ dollars,” said City Council President Jack Young.
Five-10 murals will be created this fall, partially funded by the city’s vacants to value initiative.
Young is voting against it.
“We could use that kind of money to buy supplies for teachers in the school, art supplies, all kinds of things,” Young said.
The preview project is painted on homes that will be torn down starting next month.
Some neighbors in this area are also questioning the spending.
One man, who didn’t want to be identified, says he’s angry.
“The city’s spending $50,000, but they don’t come remove trash under bridges!” he said.
But community members in Westport, where the next mural is slated to go up, say it’s worth the price tag.
“I think it’s a good way to use the money because anything that improves the overall look of Baltimore City is a good thing anyway,” said Elisha Eaton, of Westport.
The mural will be painted on the Fitch building along 295.
Neighbors say it will help build up the community.
“The children will see that this is Westport. This is where I live. And they’ll take pride in that. That mural is in my community,” said Deborah Guest, Westport.
A vote on the funding is set for next week.
Neighbors in Westport say the artist has already met with the community to get feedback on what they want to see on the mural.
The mayor has voiced her support for the project, saying art can transform neighborhoods.
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