Repairing Occupy L.A. damage to City Hall lawn could cost $400,000
Los Angeles officials say repairing damage to the City Hall lawn where hundreds of Occupy L.A. protesters are camped out could cost the city up to $400,000.
In the three weeks since the demonstration began, city crews have been unable to maintain the two acres of grass and tile walkways surrounding City Hall, said Jon Kirk Mukri, general manager of the city's Department of Recreation and Parks. The neglect can be seen in the lawn's brownish hue.
Reviving the grass could require sod replacement and repair to some of the more than 350 sprinklers on the lawn, Mukri said. He noted that $400,000 was just an estimate because the growing encampment has kept city crews from inspecting for damage.
City Councilman Dennis Zine, who has visited with the protesters opposing economic policies they say benefit corporations and the richest Americans, said the repair cost figures seem exorbitant. “Their estimates are way out of range,” he said.
Zine, who grew up pulling weeds with his father, a gardener, said he doesn’t think the lawn will have to be resodded.
“All you have to do is throw seed and fertilizer,” he said. “Give me a grant and I can go to Home Depot and do it myself.”
— Kate Linthicum and David Zahniser
Photo: The Occupy L.A. encampment fills the City Hall lawn in downtown Los Angeles. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times