There’s one less Christmas tree on the Independence Square this year.
Jackson County renovated and in 2013 reopened the Truman Courthouse in the middle of the Square, and that’s since become the site of a popular holiday lighting ceremony. For some time, the city of Independence placed an artificial tree, fully lit, near the Harry S. Truman statue on the courthouse’s east side.
The tree the city brought five years ago cost $30,000.
“The lifetime of that tree was about five years,” said city spokesman Craig Brenner, adding that it was beyond repair for this year.
A new tree would have been about $40,000, and in a tough budget year officials couldn’t justify that, though the city looked at as many options as it could, he said.
The decision has led to some complaints on social media, and Brenner said a tree could come back in the future.
“It’s not something that’s off the table completely,” he said.
– Jeff Fox