It will take more than $19,000 to repair two city parks being used as encampments by Occupy Portland protesters, City Commissioner Nick Fish estimated Monday.
Fish wrote an open letter to the protesters in which he said Chapman and Lownsdale squares weren't designed to support encampments.
"Ropes on some trees and compression of sensitive root systems may cause damage that may not manifest itself for years," he wrote. "Every day of occupation increases the possibility of damage."
Fish wrote that parks belong to everyone, and the cost to restore the damage will fall on city taxpayers.
He asked Occupy Portland to start working with the parks department to make changes that will minimize the damage to the parks.
Protesters who spoke with FOX 12 on Monday say they are working on ideas to restore the park -- once their demonstration is over.
A letter addressing the issue was posted on the Occupy Portland website.
Part of it states:
"Occupy Portland does not plan to leave these squares but will work with rank-and-file city workers to maintain the health of the park. Some worry that Fish's concerns will be used as a pretext to deny occupiers their First Amendment rights to assembly based on the need to ‘clean the park.'"
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