AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Austin is hoping the creativity of artists can help it tackle a variety of city issues, including flooding and community outreach.

The Austin American-Statesman reports ( ) that city officials will begin an artist-in-residence program to embed an artist in various city departments.

Officials say that unlike similar artist-in-residence programs, this one is focused not on creating works of art but on problem-solving.

The artist will be required to put in at least 250 hours between March and November. The job comes with a salary of $8,750, plus $5,000 in expenses.

But departing Austin council member Don Zimmerman calls the proposal "another crazy idea to waste taxpayer money when we have an affordability crisis."

At least two other cities, including Los Angeles, have similar programs in place.

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