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First Coast News obtains emails, documents of proposed $1.3 million Confederate monument removal

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry will call on the city council to remove the Monument to the Women of the Confederacy at Springfield Park.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry will call on the city council to remove the Monument to the Women of the Confederacy at Springfield Park.

His office sent city council two emails and a document with the proposed cost of the project, which a council member sent First Coast News. The cost of removing the monument alone is projected at $1.298 million. 

"Better late than never," Ben Frazier, president of the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, said. 

Frazier organized a September rally at City Hall calling on Mayor Curry to take down Jacksonville's last Confederate monument, as the mayor promised in June 2020

"The Mayor has finally decided to stop beating around the bush, sitting in the middle of the fence, and decided to take some type of definitive action," Frazier said. "The bottom line is that the Confederacy fought a Civil War to keep my people in chains."

Heather O'Neal wants the monument to stay in Jacksonville. 

"This is our keepsake," O'Neal said. "We don't want to get rid of it. We want it to stay here so we can come and look at it when we want to, go back to our history, and show our grandkids."

Jacksonville historian and author Tim Gilmore wrote an article about the statue built in 1915 during the height of racial tensions. 

"So 1915, this is the year of the refounding of the Ku Klux Klan. This is the year of the concretization of Jim Crow laws. This is the year of filming of, 'The Birth of a Nation.' This is a time period of increased racial violence," Gilmore said.

"In the end, the city has to pay the price for the mistakes of the past," Frazier said.

A representative from the mayor's office said they have no date yet on when the proposal will be complete or when it will be presented to city council.