RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — A fundraiser was founded to help cover removal costs of Confederate monuments before Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney ordered them down, and now donations collected will be used to reimburse the city’s Department of Public Works (DPU).
“I had anticipated that we would debate whether we should for a while, and then debate how to pay for it for a while,” said Shannon Harton, a local realtor who spawned the idea of the fundraiser.
Stoney ordered the removal of Confederate statues Wednesday, invoking “emergency powers” amid the city’s now-extended ‘state of emergency’ after multiple statues were toppled over previous weeks.
The mayoral move was said to be due, in part, to public safety concerns and because these statues’ removal was overdue.
The estimated $1.8 million price tag for Richmond DPW, Stoney says, will be reimbursed by donors.
Harton’s ‘The Fund to Move the Monuments‘ effort is a team effort with the Maggie Walker Community Land Trust Fund, acting as the monetary facilitators to distribute funds to the city.
“If the fact that they (Confederate statues) got moved earlier than we anticipated winds up diverting attention away now, it’s not going to be a great thing,” Harton said.
“So, I really want to try and get this fundraising done in the next couple of weeks,” he added.
The statue of Stonewall Jackson was removed Wednesday, and the likeness of Matthew Fontaine Maury, as well as two cannon statues, were hauled away Thursday.
Additional city-owned statues set for removal include the J.E.B. Stuart statue on Monument Avenue, the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors statue in Church Hill and the Fitzhugh Lee Cross in Monroe Park.
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