- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 5, 2017

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The sole competitive bid for the contract to remove Confederate monuments in New Orleans that have been a source of tension far exceeds the city’s budget.

The Times-Picayune (https://bit.ly/2naiqm6 ) reports that contractor Couzan Services Ltd. has bid $600,000 to remove statues of Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Gen. Robert E. Lee. The statue of Lee was, at one point, the tallest structure in the South. The city’s budget is $170,000, although Mayor Mitch Landrieu has said the project will also be privately financed.

The project has been beset by problems, with legal challenges to the removal, extended bid deadlines in the face of low contractor interest and the torching of the former project contractor’s Lamborghini. The mayor’s office did not comment.

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