McKinley statue arrives in Ohio as final removal costs are detailed

Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union

ARCATA – Arcata’s statue of President William McKinley is now Canton, Ohio’s statue of President William McKinley.

Arcata City Manager Karen Diemer reports that the statue arrived in that midwestern town on Monday, March 18 following its shipment from Arcata the previous Friday.

 Diemer also offered a final tally for costs associated with the statue removal.

 The City’s direct cost for the statue relocation include:

A tire-cushioned McKinley on the morning of his departure from Arcata. KLH | Union

• Historic Report: $1,813

• Environmental Impact Report Development: $11,972

• Environmental Impact Report circulation costs: $3,321

• Removal:  $14,771

Total cost: $31,877

That figure will be reduced by almost half through reimbursements.

The city will receive $15,000 from Canton’s Timken Foundation, and $500 in local, private donations raised by Fhyre Phoenix in 2018 as the statue removal process got underway.  

Supporters of Measure M, the initiative to overturn the City Council’s Feb. 21, 2018 decision to remove the state, had claimed in ballot arguments that the “real cost” of removal would be as much as $525,000.

Workers prepare to lift the statue's pedestal from the Plaza's center planter the morning of Feb. 28. KLH | Union

“Arcata taxpayers would be stuck with that bill,” wrote City Councilmember Michael Winkler, former Arcata Mayors Dan Hauser and Bob Ornelas, and citizen Gordon Inkeles. “To balance our budget, a $525,000 project would require either cutting services — terminating approximately eight city employees (eight fewer police officers or the entire recreation department). That or raise taxes.”

The final tally of $16,377 is three percent of the figure Measure M opponents had cited. 

Viewed another way, some 32 McKinley statues could be removed for the amount claimed by removal opponents.

Pedestal remains

The three pieces of the statue’s pedestal and the steps that remain buried underneath the Plaza’s center planter will be reviewed by a local stone mason to identify potential future uses, Diemer said. 

The main pedestal, previously thought to be a solid granite chunk, is filled with a mix of materials.




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