NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - We now know how much it cost the city and private donors to remove the Confederate-era monuments.
The total cost to remove all four statues is over $2.1 million. The City of New Orleans is responsible for more than a million of that. While private donors picked up the rest of the tab which was nearly $1.1 million.
The city's bill includes storage fees for the statues, personnel hours for police, firefighters, EMS, Parks and Parkways, as well as Sewerage and Water Board employees.
Private funds paid for the actual removal of the monuments.
But, the majority of the $2.1 million went to a homeland security consulting firm called the Trident Response Group.
"The city did have to bring in private security contractors who did risk assessment, threat analysis intelligence gathering. And, that is being paid for out of public dollars. But, that is the cost of the extremists and some of the racist antics that plagued this project over the last two years," said the city's Deputy Mayor of External Affairs, Ryan Berni.
The city paid that homeland security consulting firm over $710,000. While private donors paid the firm an additional $400,000. Some of the cost included a $3,000 safe house that we're told was used for the contractors who took down the monuments. While nearly $12,000 paid for rental cars.
"This is the cost of dealing with racial extremists, is that we had to spend some money on homeland security consulting from a part of the budget that otherwise would have gone to some other type of consulting and it's really for not having a major critical incident out at those scenes, well worth it," said Berni.
But, there is strong reaction from Richard Marksbury, a member of the Monumental Task Committee, a group that fought to keep the monuments up.
"This man-made crisis is at least costing 2 million dollars and it doesn't take into account a lot more money, the time the mayor spent, the time the city attorney spent, the time for research, the time the council spent, there was an awful lot of time that could have been used for other things so, it's much more than 2 million dollars," said Marksbury. "I would think the District Attorney would have something to say about this since that budget has been slashed tremendously by several millions of dollars and he could probably use that money which would help improve the crime situation in this city so again it just goes to the types of projects the money went toward instead of the ones the city truly needs."
We're told no city employees were used to actually remove the monuments. Instead the city's cost was for public safety and logistical support. The city says its cost will be absorbed in the existing budget.