Cost of Occupy SF camp is nearing $1M

Mike Koozmin/The SF ExaminerThe Recreation and Park Department says protesters did $50

Mike Koozmin/The SF ExaminerThe Recreation and Park Department says protesters did $50

The City has spent nearly $1 million and counting on controlling and cleaning up after the Occupy SF movement that for two months called Justin Herman Plaza home — until police kicked everyone out during an early morning raid Wednesday.

Mayor Ed Lee estimated The City has spent about $950,000, but the bills continue to mount. The Recreation and Park Department estimates up to $50,000 in damage was inflicted on the Justin Herman Plaza area by Occupy SF participants, including killing the grass and damaging the irrigation system.

The Police Department, which spent about $400,000 up until the day of the raid, will continue to incur costs as it keeps Justin Herman Plaza from being re-occupied.

Lee said The City can’t legally prevent protesters from using the Justin Herman Plaza site, but the mayor was adamant that there will be no overnight occupation.

Portions of the plaza were closed for repairs Wednesday. The Recreation and Park Department estimated the repairs — including replanting of the grass, lining the bocce ball courts with oyster shells and fixing the irrigation system — could take weeks.

Wednesday’s raid came after weeks of notices of violations, threats and deadlines from The City. Lee had long resisted using police force and even offered the movement an alternative site in the Mission, away from the downtown businesses that were fed up with the disruption, including allegations of theft. The alternative Mission site is no longer being offered to the Occupy SF participants, who previously could not agree whether to accept the offer.

“I think I have done what I think is right by balancing The City’s needs, and I have been incredibly patient,” Lee said.

The future of Occupy SF remains uncertain. “What we have heard from [Occupy SF] is that they are not going away,” said Supervisor David Campos, adding that he doesn’t see “anything legally that prevents them from going back [to Justin Herman Plaza].”

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsGovernment & PoliticsLocalOccupy SFPoliticsSan Francisco

Just Posted

ose Pak and Willie Brown at an event in 2014. 
Rose Pak and Willie Brown at an event in 2014.
Willie and Rose: An alliance for the ages

How the Mayor and Chinatown activist shaped San Francisco, then and now

City officials have informed the owners of El Farolito, a legendary taqueria that started in the Mission District, that they cannot open a new location in North Beach due to rules against “formula retail.” (Gil Duran/SF Examiner)
Free El Farolito! San Francisco’s North Beach burrito ban must not stand

San Francisco reaches new level of absurdity with ban on famed burrito spot

San Francisco supervisors are considering plans to replace trash cans — a “Renaissance” garbage can is pictured on Market Street — with pricey, unnecessary upgrades. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
San Francisco must end ridiculous and expensive quest for ‘pretty’ trash cans

SF’s unique and pricey garbage bins a dream of disgraced former Public Works director

Giants right fielder Mike Yastrzemski is pictured at bat on July 29 against the Dodgers at Oracle Park; the teams are in the top spots in their league as the season closes. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
With playoff positions on the line, old rivalries get new life

Giants cruised through season, Dodgers not far behind

Golden Gate Park visitors may take a survey about options regarding private car access on John F. Kennedy Drive, which has been the subject of controversy during the pandemic.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Your chance to weigh in: Should JFK remain closed to cars?

Host of mobility improvements for Golden Gate Park proposed

Most Read