JACKSONVILLE, Florida – News4Jax digs deeper into cost of removing Confederate monument from Jacksonville park.
The current estimate is nearly $ 1.3 million, according to the city.
Many wonder, why would it cost so much?
The city got a cost estimate saying it would cost more than $ 1 million to move the gazebo, base and steps and move them somewhere in the country. Executive director Brian Hughes said the cost of the move is also high, in part because it is considered a “significant public work of art by an artist named Allen Newman.”
“Whatever your opinion on the subject, it is believed to be a very valuable sculpture. In addition, its size and weight are huge. So it was clear that the withdrawal would take a very complex and well-planned process, ”Hughes wrote.
But to do so, two-thirds of the city council would have to vote in its favor.
At present, the monument to the Women of the Southern Confederation is covered in shame. The 1915 monument erected in honor of Confederate women has been covered since last year’s racial justice protests called for its removal.
Activist Ben Frazier has said statues like this one are symbols of deep racial inequalities.
“We have major problems when it comes to law enforcement, trust, transparency and accountability,” Frazier said.
More than a year after Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry promised to remove Confederate landmarks from the city, Hughes emailed City Council members over the weekend saying the mayor’s office would ask Council members approve legislation to remove the monument.
Resident Seber Newsome believes the statue should be standing.
“Rather than deal with the problems Jacksonville has like crime, drugs, shooting, homelessness, garbage, are they worried about that?” Seber Newsome said.
Hughes said it took months to get an estimate of the moving costs. The total was $ 1.29 million, not including additional expenses for storage or preservation of the law. Although no decision has been made on what will happen to the monument, Newsome said the cost was too high.
“We’re going to hold back all the Republicans who were elected, they were elected to be fiscally conservative with the money. We are going to force them to do this, ”he said.
Frazier takes a different point of view.
“Consider this: How much money was made out of the 4 million slaves they had in the South? And the cotton they picked, who kept that money? said Frazier.
Frazier thinks that $ 1.3 million in a step towards reconciliation is a small price to pay.
This price could drop.
The mayor’s office will ask that this money be budgeted. If the city council approves, it will launch a bid so that the final cost may end up being lower.
No word on when the mayor will ask for the money as the city has refused to make anyone available for comment.
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