By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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Before a crowd of about a dozen people Saturday afternoon, Knut Orloff of Big Trees of Sequim deployed his firm's Big John 90 tree transplanter truck to pull the palm at 152 W. Cedar St.
The transplanter, a hydraulic spade, then put the tree atop the Big Trees truck, and Orloff drove it around the block, down the alley and into a lot at 153 W. Cedar St. owned by Kevin Bell and Lee Cowan.
The palm tree, a Trachycarpus fortunei, according to horticulturist Ian Barclay of dry plant nursery The Desert Northwest, is often mentioned in national stories about Sequim's sunny climate.
It was slated to be destroyed to make room as construction crews begin work next month on a new 30,000-square-feet City Hall and police station.
Nobody seems to know when the tree was planted in front of the old City Hall, but Barclay said it should fare well at its new home for a long time, provided it gets plenty of water in the next couple of years.
Demolition of City Hall, built for $110,000 in 1973, is expected to begin next month as Lydig Construction prepares the site for construction of a new $11.85 million complex.
The new City Hall, expected to be finished in spring 2015, will house the city's administration, police and public works operations in one building instead of the several it now rents around the city.
City offices were moved in December to Suite 17 in the Sequim Valley Shopping Center, 609 W. Washington St., and to the former Head Start administrative building, 226 N. Sequim Ave.
Sequim police still are in Suite 16 — a former movie theater — in the Sequim Village Shopping Center.
For nonemergencies, the Police Department phone number is 360-683-7227. For emergencies, dial 9-1-1.
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at email@example.com.