Restricted Fund Program Created for Green River Arts Council

Restricted Fund Program Created for Green River Arts Council

Art on the Green is one of the activities hosted by the Green River Arts Council. File photo

GREEN RIVER – The creation of a restricted donation program for the Green River Arts Council stemmed from an investigation into embezzlement allegations made against the former manager of the Green River Main Street and Urban Renewal Agency organization.

The Green River City Council approved the creation of the restricted donation program Tuesday evening. The funds are submitted into the program from donations, raffle baskets and other fundraising activities. The funds can only be used for promoting public art and arts council events.

The account will have separate accounting performed on them and the city’s financial controller will work with the arts council and Katie Duncombe, Director of Parks and Recreation for the city. Chris Meats, Finance Director for the city, said the city wants to be a good partner with the arts council, but admits government can move slowly when it comes to approving fund expenditures. In total, $23,860.72 will be moved to the restricted account from the Green River URA’s Development Fund.

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Originally, the art council’s funds were kept in the Development Fund but were frozen as part of the investigation into Green River Main Street Manager Jennie Melvin’s alleged misuse of funds. Meats told SweetwaterNOW the account freeze impacted an attempt to host a second Light Fest at Riverside Nursery as the council couldn’t access them in time to host the event.

According to city documents, the Light Fest is listed as a fundraiser activity in the arts council restricted fund guidelines. Other activities include art classes and silent auctions. Activities listed as Art Sales Commissions include Plein Air, which is an event hosted between the Community Fine Arts Center and the arts council that allows spectators to see the process and challenge of creating art outdoors. Along with Art on the Green, the arts council also promotes the Arts in Public Places program at the Green River Recreation Center.