Posted on November 21, 2018

Lakeland Will Pay to Move Confederate Monument

Paul Scicchitano, Patch, November 20, 2018

Reversing an earlier decision, the Lakeland City [Florida] Commission has agreed to use public money to move the Confederate Monument from Munn Park to Veterans Memorial Park. {snip}

The commission voted 5-2 at its Monday meeting in favor of using money generated by the city’s red light camera citations to pay for the move, which is estimated to cost around $210,000, according to city officials. The vote reversed a May 7 decision to require the move to be paid for solely with private funds.

A group called Save Southern Heritage said it filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday to block the removal of the monument.

“The suit was filed in response to the action by the Lakeland City Commission last night that reversed the previous decision to require private donations to pay for the cost of taking the cenotaph out of the park,” according to the group. “The lawsuit includes a request for an emergency temporary restraining order … that would prevent the city or its employees, or contractors to begin removing the monument or to obstruct it from public view.”


Attorney David McCallister, who represents the group, said that the city left no other option following Monday’s vote.

“It really was a mob scene,” McCallister said. “Most of the people that spoke really want the cenotaph destroyed, and we don’t expect it to last long in Veterans Park, if we lose our appeal to the court.”

City officials said that the cost estimate includes a $20,000 cushion to pay for unforeseen expenses.

“The original quote regarding the monument relocation is around $150,000,” according to city officials. “This quote does not include the cost to rebuild a base for the monument, the estimated $3,500 for security cameras, the cost for fiber connect at Veterans Park and approximately $4,000 for fencing.”