Community art works will be the focus of a new art trail along the Lake Illawarra foreshore to be funded and co-ordinated by Shellharbour City Council.
Shellharbour councillors have endorsed allocating $20,000 towards the art trail, which will be located on the western edge of the foreshore.
The money will come from the dividend the council received from the Southern Phone Company.
The foreshore between Kanahooka Street, Albion Park and Central Park, Oak Flats has been identified as the potential location.
Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said the project would involve the creation of art totem poles depicting stories of the city at designated parts of the foreshore.
Interpretive signs that document the history of the location and the environment would also form part of the art trail, with further historic information able to be accessed by using phones to scan codes on the signs.
"This will become a wonderful asset to our community and highlight the physical and social history of the area in a fun and informative way," Cr Saliba said.
The program is being developed in collaboration with local artists, the Shellharbour Woodcarvers, community groups, schools, Aboriginal organisations and various cultural groups.
"This is an exciting opportunity to promote the creative talents of our residents and showcase art in our city," Cr Saliba said.
Councillors voted 5-1 to support the art trail, with Deputy Mayor Paul Rankin describing the move as "a waste of money".
"I believe there are more important and pressing things to spend the money on," Cr Rankin said.
"I can understand putting art in, but I'd rather see money put into something like a swimming structure at Reddall Reserve for families.
"I worry that with the art works, what could be a beautiful thing could turn out to be an ugly thing if vandals get involved."
In March, Shellharbour council received a dividend of $47,000 from its holdings in the Southern Phone Company.
Shellharbour is one of 41 councils that took up the offer of two $1 shares in the phone company.
The remaining funds from the dividend have been allocated towards fencing around the athletics track on John O'Dwyer Oval ($15,000) to protect it from damage caused by vehicles illegally accessing the site at night.
The other beneficiary is the Albion Park-Oak Flats Junior Rugby League Club's amenities block, which will receive upgrades worth $12,000.