The City of Niagara Falls will issue a request for proposals from sculptors interested in creating a statue of Harriet Tubman, who before the Civil War led groups of escaped slaves to freedom in Canada, including over the old Suspension Bridge in the Falls.
It's the second time the city has run into trouble with plans to erect a statue of a Black abolitionist leader.
The City Council unanimously approved funding for the work Wednesday night, allocating $67,242 in Niagara River Greenway money to cover the local match for a $201,725 state grant.
Mayor Robert M. Restaino said Thursday the proposal document should be finalized within a couple of weeks.
The statue will be erected in Harriet Tubman Plaza, outside the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center. That museum, which opened in 2018, shares the city's former Custom House with the Niagara Falls Amtrak station.
The state first allocated the grant money in December 2015, but legal and bureaucratic issues kept the project from going forward until now. The grant expired after five years, but Restaino persuaded State Parks to extend it for a year.