Huge rock can be yours, but there are a few rules set in stone

EDMONDS — Need a new lawn ornament? The city has a suggestion.

It’s a granite boulder and weighs about 300,000* pounds. They’re willing to deliver the chunk of granite to your home, but you have to agree to a number of conditions.

Perhaps most important is: You didn’t get it from Nordstrom. No returns. Once you get it, it’s yours.

The offer was posted on the city’s Facebook page Thursday morning, written by Ed Sibrel, the city’s capital projects manager. Within the first two hours, it had 1,150 views.

“So often people think the work of the city is terribly serious,” said Mayor Dave Earling. “It’s good to know the staff has a wonderful sense of humor.”

The 150-ton rock was unearthed during a repaving project on 220th Street SW and 80th Avenue W. Construction crews were designing a pedestrian ramp from the sidewalk to the road. “Lo and behold, there was this very large rock under a bunch of sticker bushes,” Sibrel said.

The stone is suspected to be a glacial erratic deposited during the last Ice Age. Several other similar large stones are scattered around the city and the county.

The equipment on the road repaving site was large enough to move it aside, but not to large enough to move it off site, Sibrel said. The cost of moving and disposing it is estimated at $5,000. “It would be less if we could find someone to adopt this stone,” he said. The city will accept no more than five applicants seeking to be the new owner of the rock. The requests must be submitted to the city by Tuesday.

Applicants must be Edmonds residents and the boulder’s new prospective showplace must be on the homeowner’s property and within the city limits.

Sibrel offered another suggestion in his post: “You darned well better have the permission of your significant other.”

City employees will make site visits to the applicants’ property to ensure the necessary equipment and machinery can access the property for the rock delivery. “It’s not just a matter of someone being willing to take it,” Sibrel said.

Construction workers initially attempted to break the boulder apart, but it’s very dense granite. “We used a tool we usually use for concrete demolition,” Sibrel said. “We melted the tip of it trying to break the rock apart.”

The city received one response almost immediately to Thursday’s Facebook post. It came from a city employee.

Asked what the city employee wanted to do with the rock, Sibrel said: “Stick it in his front yard and create a huge lawn ornament.”

The city wants to give Edmonds residents the first chance, Sibrel said.

The city has encountered large stones before on construction projects. Usually they weigh a couple of tons and can be moved relatively easily, he said.

It’s not the first large, weighty stone to be found in the county. Last year, a boulder weighing almost exactly as much was found in Everett during construction of the Courtyard by Marriott. It had its own Twitter account and attracted international media attention.

Alas, at this point the Edmonds rock now only has a Facebook post.

Sibrel said the city is optimistic that a successful match can be made.

“It would definitely be a conversation piece for anyone who takes possession of it,” he said.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; salyer@heraldnet.com.

The rules

Here’s the text of Edmonds’ Facebook post offering free delivery of a 30,000-pound boulder to the home of a city resident:

FREE TO GOOD HOME:

One Rock. Size: Big – roughly 6’ x 7’ x 4.5’. Weight: Approximately 30,000 pounds. Answers to “Granite” but does not come when called. Serious Inquiries Only! Must reply by October 27, 2015.

City contractors excavated a large glacial erratic during the construction of a sidewalk ramp at the corner of 80th Ave W and 220th St SW. The rock cannot remain where it is, so we’re offering the stone free of charge, delivered within city limits, to the first person to meet all of the following conditions:

1. You must be an Edmonds resident;

2. The delivered location must be within city limits;

3. You must own the property the rock would be going to;

4. You darn well better have the permission of your significant other;

5. Your property must be easily accessed by the very large equipment delivering and placing the stone. This means no skinny roadways, steep hills, private drives, or any other condition as determined by city staff, and their decision will be final;

6. The city will only deliver the rock to your property immediately adjacent to the roadway;

7. You will be responsible for any underground utilities the rock may come to rest over;

8. The city will perform no restoration to any of your landscaping that might get chewed up in the course of the rock’s placement;

9. You’re responsible for your own landscaping’s feng shui — once the rock is on the ground, the city is not gonna nudge it ‘a little more this way’;

10. And lastly, no give-backs!

If you think you have what it takes, read on for our selection process:

Contact Ed Sibrel at ed.sibrel@edmondswa.gov if you are interested in acquiring this noble stone. Due to time constraints, only the first five inquiries received before Oct. 27, 2015 will be considered. Inquiries will be evaluated by the above criteria, and the first person meeting all of the conditions will find themselves the proud owner of “Granite.”

*Correction, Oct. 23, 2015: This story originally stated an incorrect weight for the boulder.

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