Florida the rules are different here Chapter CLIX
The City of Port St. Lucie will spend over $11,000 to rent a Christmas tree. City Manager Don Cooper only now realizes it may have been cheaper just to go to Wal-Mart. Don't you just love the Sunshine State?
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PORT ST. LUCIE — City employees tried to cancel plans for an $11,750 fake Christmas tree today after city council members balked at the price tag but were told it's too late: the faux fir has already been ordered and is scheduled for delivery to city hall next week.
"It's just Christmas in Port St. Lucie," sighed Parks and Recreation Director Chuck Proulx, who signed a three-year, $35,250 contract to rent a 30-foot artificial evergreen for the city's annual tree-lighting event.
City Manager Don Cooper instructed employees to cancel the rental contract earlier today after reading a story in The Palm Beach Post quoting council members angry by the steep rental cost.
Budget Director Dave Pollard reviewed the contract and said the cancellation deadline was Sept. 1. Even if the city axed the tree now, it still would have to pay the $11,750 rental cost, Pollard said.
The costly tree will adorn the front lawn of city hall where eight real Christmas trees have died of mysterious causes since 1999.
The city's annual tree-lighting is set for Dec. 6, but earlier today Cooper said he was unwilling to rent the tree given council opposition.
"Maybe we should just go to Wal-Mart and get a tree," Cooper wrote in an email to city council members today. "I do not know what this does for the tree lighting (or even if there will be one) given the late date."