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Covington to accept donations to replace vandalized community tree

The city of Covington is prepared to accept donations from the public toward the costs associated with replacing their community tree, which was vandalized last week.

According a press release, the city is also working with Crime Stoppers who will offer up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the vandal.

Donations can be sent by mail or in-person at Covington City Hall, 16720 SE 271st St. #100, Covington, WA 98042.

Donations to this cause are likely to be tax deductible, but please check with your tax professional before claiming them.

To report tips anonymously, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or provide a web tip at www.crimestoppers.com.

The city’s arborist is assessing the trees that have been offered as a donation for replacement.

Costs to remove those trees, transport them and transplant them are being compared to costs of purchasing from a commercial vendor.

The tree could be replaced as early as this weekend.

The public can direct any inquiries to the city via email to raisethetree@covingtonwa.gov or by calling Community Relations Coordinator Karla Slate at (253) 480-2402.

Since Saturday, the city has received numerous emails and phone calls from people wanting to donate trees, offer money for a reward to catch the vandal, and donate funds to cover costs of replacing the tree and lights.

A vandal attempted to cut down the tree in the early morning hours of Saturday, Dec. 1.

The tree was secured long enough to allow thecommunity tree lighting event to take place that evening, but public works crews had to remove it at the end of the night due to extreme safety concerns.

Rectifying the vandalism by removing the damaged tree, replacing and planting a new tree and purchasing and stringing new lights will cost an estimated $10,000 or more.

According to the city, the tree was not insured as the city’s insurance provider does not insure growing trees.

 

 

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