New home likely for palm tree to be evicted from Sequim City Hall

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM –– Big Trees of Sequim has agreed to remove and transport to a new home the signature palm tree that has stood in front of City Hall for decades, saving the tree from destruction.

“A lot of people were interested in saving it, so we figured we'd help them find it a new home,” said Doug Monk of the tree firm.

City officials asked earlier this week for help in saving the tree, believed to be a Washingtonia robusta palm variety.

The City Hall palm tree often has been noted 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.

But Monk does not have a place to put the palm tree, so city officials are looking at a few people who expressed interest in taking in the tree last week.

“I'm just waiting for [city engineer] David [Garlington] to find it a home,” Monk said.

Garlington said one person expressed interest, saying he or she had 29 palm trees in the yard “and would like to make it 30.”

The tree is slated to be removed sometime next week, Garlington said.

The city has planned a community photograph to be taken in front of the outgoing City Hall, built for $110,000 in 1973.

The tree should still be in place for the photograph, Monk said.

Bricks from the outgoing City Hall also may be made available to those with sentimental connections to the building, City Manager Steve Burkett said last week.

Crews with Lydig Construction are scheduled to begin demolition of the building at 152 W. Cedar St., and the Serenity House buildings at Sequim Avenue and Cedar Street on April 22 to build the $11.85 million building.

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 non-emergencies, the Police Department phone number is 360-683-7227. For emergencies, dial 9-1-1.

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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 23. 2014 6:14PM
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