NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- The New Haven Green looks a whole lot different now that the Occupiers are gone, but what is it going to take to restore the green back to what it looked like before the Occupy tents went up in October?
Now that the tents are gone city officials are getting started repairing the Green.
"I think it's refreshing to see the green again," said Warren Seacord.
However, city officials say it's going to take some work to get the Green back to being green.
"In terms of the grass bed it's complete, it's completely destroyed," said Christy Hass, Deputy Director of Parks and Squares. "In terms of the tree stress, I think it's serious."
Hass says their priority is taking care of the trees and then putting in new grass.
"What we have now is almost like a floor as opposed to a seed bed, so throwing seed down will be like throwing marbles across the floor," Hass said. "It would not take, it would not grow, so our important thing is to create a seed bed in whatever means we can without damaging the roots of the trees."
Mayor John DeStefano says $145,000 is how much the Occupy movement cost the city from October 15 through the restoration. That number includes services the city provided to the Occupiers, including port-a-potties and trash removal.
"I would say it's a drop in the bucket from what the corporate criminals have stolen from us," said Occupy demonstrator Ray Neal.
It's a price the city said it didn't plan to spend, but one the mayor calls 'fair.'
"Part of what we do as being a city is to recognize that there are places for people to express their opinions and sometimes that comes at a financial cost but there's also a cost for not letting people express their opinion," DeStefano explained.
$25,000 of the overall amount is to be spent on restoration costs: a price some city residents say is worth paying to get their Green back.
"I sympathize with what they were complaining about, but at the same time they became the one percent," said Seacord. "The 99 percent couldn't use the space, so it's nice to see it being restored. It's such a lovely area."
"It's grass seed, they'll put some more grass down and it will be fine," said Ken Cimino. "Three months from now you wouldn't even know anyone was there."
An attorney for Occupy New Haven said he wanted to contribute to the restoration effort and take some of the cost away from the taxpayer.
"We brought lots of grass seed, we got more in the car so that we don't want to be accused of not replanting the grass that was killed by accident," said attorney Irving Pinksy.
Some of that money also went to paying overtime costs.
"About 60 police personnel and the balance being fire, public works and parks," DeStefano said. "Police were on overtime, fire were on overtime and public works and parks were just there regular work day."
So what do taxpayers think about having to pay for Occupy?
"That kind of hurts, but this is America, this is what we do," said Ken Cimino.
"Unfortunately protests and things like that even legal marches all cost money. As a taxpayer I'm ok with that."
The demonstrators had occupied the green for more than 6 months before losing their legal battle. When police moved in Wednesday morning, a group of protestors linked arms in one last act of civil disobedience.
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