The taxpayer cost was $13,272 to put up the "holiday tree" that was formally lit Friday in the Capitol Rotunda, Department of General Administration officials said Monday.
Costs included labor and materials such as scaffolding, GA spokesman Steve Valandra said, but it did not include any costs incurred by the Department of Natural Resources to harvest and transport the 48-foot noble fir from the Toutle River area. An additional $3,000 to $3,500 cost is expected for removal of the tree.
Also approved Monday by the GA was a second holiday display, a menorah, under a new policy that does not allow nongovernmental displays inside Capitol Campus buildings. The menorah will be displayed near the Tivoli Fountain and will be tended by someone from the sponsoring group, the Chabad Jewish Discovery Center of Olympia, whenever its lights are plugged in.
The Chabad group also is authorized to put up a 9-foot lighted menorah in Sylvester Park. Approval of an atheist group’s display near Tivoli Fountain is expected today, Valandra said.
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The state is taking over sponsorship of the holiday tree from the Association of Washington Business, which had provided one from a Northwest forest for about two decades.
Brad Shannon: 360-753-1688