City Council postpones mural request from CSU, announces two grants awarded to elections office

City Council postpones mural request from CSU, announces two grants awarded to elections office

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Columbus City Council addressed a number of important issues Tuesday, from the latest COVID-19 trends in the city, to a request from Columbus State University’s Art Department to paint a mural spotlighting racial injustice.

A number of personnel from Columbus State University’s Art Department hope to put up a mural illustrating the struggles and triumphs regarding racial injustice, according to Professor of Art Hannah Israel.

"In the department of art, we will do a call for artwork with the theme of hope and healing in the community,” Israel said.

The Advocacy thru Arts Mural Project would be located on 18th Street and 5th Avenue.

But council members said the concern is being able to control the content before the mural is constructed.

“Our community needs to see something," Glenn Davis said. "Some sort of a development stage of how it would work so people can see what is being described in words today.”

A motion to delay the project by two weeks was approved so city council members could have more time to better understand the project.

Other items discussed included a COVID-19 update from Mayor Skip Henderson.

“The numbers continue to look promising, although they have ticked up. Hospitalization rates have gone up a little bit over the last couple of days,” Henderson said.

According to the latest information from the Columbus Health Department, over the last two weeks, roughly three percent of Muscogee County’s tests came back positive, compared to the start of the pandemic in March when the test positivity rates were near 10 percent.

In other business, the elections office will soon be awarded two grants to help with the upcoming election. The first grant totals $412,245 from the Centers for Tech and Civic Life.

The USC Schwarzenegger Institute Democracy Fund Initiative also awarded $210,675 to help supplement early voting sites and in-person voting at polling places.

Henderson commended Elections Supervisor Nancy Boren for efforting and receiving these grants.

“To get over $600,000 in just over a week and a half, that is more than impressive,” Henderson said.

Boren said these grants will be extremely useful in the coming days and offered an update on how the first day of early voting went yesterday.

“So, we have 130,000 registered voters here in Muscogee County," she said. “We have mailed 31,000 absentee ballots as of yesterday. We also voted 1,338 people yesterday. We actually had a lot of people who turned in their absentee ballots yesterday because they wanted to vote in person.”

There was also some discussion on the city’s upcoming Spooktacular: Trunk or Treat event. The Civic Center’s director, Robert Landers, said there is a strong need for volunteers and donations to help get the event off the ground.

Copyright 2020 WTVM. All rights reserved.