City coughs up $400,000 for bronze statue of Hiram Walker
Windsor taxpayers will be paying for at least a portion of the cost for a new $400,000 bronze statue of Hiram Walker.
City council agreed Monday night to put up cash for the statue of the 19th-century whiskey tycoon, who founded the Walkerville neighbourhood.
Mayor Drew Dilkens insists the city will not be on the hook for the entire bill as fundraising will continue for the project. He and council wanted to get the project started so it would be ready to be unveiled next year.
"It's just a matter of timing. We're hoping to have this announced and unveiled for next year [for] Canada's 150th [birthday], Windsor's 125th birthday," he said. "We can't get it done in time unless the artist starts working now."
The mayor said the money offered by the city comes from a previous capital budget that went unspent. Any additional money raised will go back to the city, Dilkens explained.
He says the statue will likely go somewhere close to the distillery, which is still a major employer in Windsor.
Funding local art projects could become more common for the city, Dilkens explained.
"They make the city, they make the community more interesting," he said. "They create conversations that you wouldn't otherwise have. They just add some vitality and life to a community. So it's my goal to start this process."