INVESTIGATES: Why removing a Confederate monument in Jacksonville’s Springfield Park is so expensive

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The “Tribute to the Women of the Confederacy” monument sits covered by a tarpaulin in Springfield Park, and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon.

Some locals, like Dana Maule, say it’s a symbol of oppression.

STORY: INVESTIGATES: Why removing a Confederate monument in Jacksonville’s Springfield Park is so expensive

”That may symbolize to some a very painful past,” she said.

Others, like Margie Massoudi-Watkins, say it should stay.

”It’s a history,” she said, adding there should be “no divisions of Black and white, we are one.”

On Friday, Citizens for Unity made their voices heard at the steps of City Hall, calling for the monument in Springfield Park to stay put, and to add a new “Black Family” monument as well.

The city of Jacksonville has considered removing the monument in Springfield Park, but after ACON Construction estimated it would cost almost $1.3 million to remove the monument, city leaders tabled it.

Action News Jax has found it cost far less to remove other controversial monuments.

An expense report shows the City of St. Augustine paid nearly $345,000 to remove a confederate monument by way of a barge.

Another report shows it cost the city of Jacksonville about $7,300 dollars to remove the monument in Hemming Plaza last summer.

It’s not clear, though, how labor and removal costs for those projects compared to the Springfield Monument estimate.

Action News Jax reached out to the companies that removed those other monuments, but have not heard back yet.

Action News Jax also asked the city of Jacksonville if the $1.3 million estimate to remove the Springfield Park monument was the only one it received.

STORY: Publix limits certain items ahead of upcoming holiday

A city spokesperson said:

”The company that gave the estimate is already contracted to do work in our parks. Since this is a city asset with a value of nearly one million dollars, taking it down without causing damage requires highly skilled crews and equipment. The estimate was sought to determine if the removal would have to go to council for a vote, and it was in fact at an amount that needed to be approved by council. This is not a matter of us being able to put this up for bid. The City Council took the vote off the table. They must approve the funds and until they do, there is no new information to share.“

”Put it in a museum, put it somewhere where it could have more of a historical context and not as a glorious symbol of the South,” Maule said.

She added she doesn’t suggest erasing history, but says monuments from hurtful pasts shouldn’t be in the community.