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Oldsmar to get part of dead palms' worth

A construction company will not be sued for two Canary Island date palms that died not too long after being planted in front of the new City Hall.

City Council members Tuesday reluctantly accepted a settlement that leaves Consolidated Building Concepts Inc. paying $4,480 for the trees. The amount covers 80 percent of the cost, but council members said a lawsuit threatened two weeks ago might be even more expensive.

"It's a no-win situation for both sides," said Consolidated's president, Robert Brundage. Council member Jon Macdonald voted against the settlement, saying Consolidated should have stood behind its work.

The Clearwater company had blamed the city for letting the trees drown because the water levels are too high near City Hall. The city wanted to be reimbursed because the palms had been under warranty. Both sides had hired horticulturists in the dispute.

Now in front of City Hall are two cocus palms that council member Jerry Beverland donated from his back yard.