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City Hall Park Re-Opens Today, But Chain Link Fence Stays

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Ladies and Gentlemen of Los Angeles, City Hall Park will once again be yours to enjoy!

Well... It will be yours to enjoy between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10:30 p.m., and don't even think of trying to camp there. This morning the Park will be officially re-opened after its lengthy $1 million renovation, but the concrete and chain link fence set up around the park to keep protesters out will stay up for at least several more weeks, says Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's office, according to City News Service. How pretty!

The lawn was damaged last fall during the Occupy Los Angeles encampment's tenure outside City Hall, necessitating rehabilitation. The City opted to do a renovation that shifted the emphasis on native plants and water conservation, but the project wasn't cheap--and it went over the original estimated cost of about $400,000.

The new irrigation system and plants cost $754,000, says the City, and it cost $45,380 to fix the Frank Putnam Flint Fountain, which was built in 1933, and the firefighters' memorial, built in 1944.

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Senior Press Secretary Peter Sanders assures Angelenos, however, that "no general fund money was used to fix this park." Sanders explains that over half the cost was covered from Quimby Act funds, described by CNS as "money subdivision developers pay to local agencies for use to preserve park land." Additionally, L.A. took some big donations from big companies; Home Depot and The Scotts Company (aka MiracleGro) provided a combined $70,000 for plants and planting material. The L.A. Department of Water and Power kicked in $222,000 for new LED lighting and grass.

This is the second major re-design of City Hall's landscaping since the building was built in 1928. Villaraigosa will be joined at 10:30 this morning by Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and other city officials for a re-opening ceremony.

Occupy Los Angeles has not indicated an interest in returning to the lawn.

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