Parks and Rec Throws Out Another Figure For Occupy L.A.'s Cost to City Hall Grounds
If there's one department that's worried about the Occupy L.A. encampment, it's the city's Recreation and Parks Department.
The department released its third estimate of how occupiers are wreaking havoc on the lawn, shrubbery and sprinkler-heads around City Hall. Two weeks into the movement, the department said damage to the lawn would cost the city $50,000. Occupiers responded by saying they would canvas for donations to fix the lawn. A few days later, the department's general manager Jon Kirk Mukri said the sod replacement and sprinkler damage could cost the city $400,000. (City councilman Dennis Zine was skeptical it could cost that much.)
Now Mukri is lowering his estimate and saying that the bill is $120,000, according to a memo obtained by City Maven. The memo blames occupiers for dry soil, nutrient-starved trees, broken sprinkler-heads and wear and tear to trees caused by protestors hooking their tents up to the trees for stability. The department is passing out fliers to occupiers so that they will not cause any more damage to the trees. It complains that the protestors are monopolizing the park and no one else is getting to enjoy it and warns that someone might get hurt while camping and sue the city.
"The persons now living on the grounds of the park have: 1) created several unsafe conditions; 2) monopolized the park grounds, thus limiting access for other park users; 3) greatly impacted (Recreation and Park’s) ability to properly maintain and irrigate the park; and, 4) caused damage to the park grounds including landscaped areas, hardscape areas, and trees,” Mukri wrote in the memo.
The memo also complains that because there are so many people camped out, the department couldn't get a proper estimate of how much it's going to cost the city in the end. We'll keep our eyes peeled for the next estimate. (Especially if out-of-town protestors looking for sunny skies show up this winter.)