Naples allocates over $500,000 in taxpayer money to plant trees

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The City of Naples plans to use over $500,000 of taxpayer money to plant trees to replace hundreds that Hurricane Irma destroyed.

Born and raised in Naples, Anthony Ramirez remembers the damage Irma left behind in his hometown.

“After seeing how everything was just destroyed was horrible,” Ramirez said. “It was scary. It was my first big hurricane.”

The City of Naples approved around $600,000 to replace 384 trees damaged by Irma. These range from oaks to palms throughout the city.

Private donors infused $82,000, which was matched by the Blair Foundation. Around $515,000 will come from taxpayer money.

The first tree will get planted in November, which is the last month of the 2019 hurricane season. Then, it will take two or three months to complete the project. City crews will begin with neighborhood streets. Then, onto the busy roads in the city.

Dellan Lightburn wishes the city started this project sooner, but not while we are in hurricane season. Right now, he said the city should focus on other things.

“Do you think they’d fix it the year after,” Lightburn said, “but not wait two years?”

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