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Oh, Chri$tma$ Tree...

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Feb 12, 2009 10:15PM

2009_02_12_tree.jpg It turns out that lovely Christmas tree that adorns Daley Plaza comes at quite a price. CBS2 calculated that the city spends over $300,000 to buy the tree and to pay the workers to create the frame and assemble the tree. The tree is actually made up of 113 small trees combined, unlike the single (privately-funded) tree that adorns Rockefeller Center in New York City, and it took workers six weeks to hoist the trees into position.

In November, due to the budget crunch, the city changed the date and time of the Christmas tree lighting ceremony from the Friday evening after Thanksgiving to a Tuesday at noon to curb overtime costs for city employees. CBS2 did some research for the city to see how they could cut costs for next year.

Well then - instead of buying 113 trees for $45,500, the same vendor could supply the city with one 45-foot tree for $2,800.

That would also cut other expenses to decorate the taller tree - including equipment rental costs of more than $17,000.

Apparently the city did not want to seek sponsors for the tree because that would be tantamount to "commercializing Christmas." Fortunately, though, the menorah, nativity scene and Christkindl market are all privately funded.

Photo by Samantha Abernethy