Obama Visit to Cost Kent $5,500

County commissioner wants to seek reimbursement

At least part of President Barack Obama's visit to Kent State University today is going to cost $5,500.

Kent City Manager Dave Ruller said that $5,500 estimated cost of the assistance city police and fire departments will offer to the U.S. Secret Service is mostly staffing.

"With nearly $40 million of the president’s stimulus funding at work rebuilding Kent OH, I feel like he’s got plenty of tab to work off before I have to worry about it," Ruller wrote on his blog Monday. "But I also don’t want to come across as making light of our financial troubles, so we ran the numbers and thankfully our local costs (mostly extra manpower) will probably end up around $5,500, which when divided up by the various departments involved should be manageable."

Kent, which is in the midst of a more than $100 million redevelopment, benefitted from a $20 million federal transportation grant to build PARTA's Kent Central Gateway transit center. Other projects around town, including the new Fairchild Avenue Bridge, also received money from the federal Stimulus Act.

Until Obama's visit was confirmed to be at Kent State city safety officials were unsure how much the presidential visit would cost.

Kent State spokesperson Emily Vincent told Ohio.com they don't yet know how much the visit will cost the university.

Obama will speak at the Memorial Athletic Convocation Center this afternoon. Doors open for the event at 3:30p.m. Tickets are required for admission.

Read about how the president's visit will effect the campus, and how you can watch it live, here.

Other local safety officials will aid in providing personnel, including the Portage County Sheriff's Office.

Portage County Commissioner Tommie Jo Marsilio said in an email to county officials that she plans to seek reimbursement from the president's campaign for any costs incurred by the sheriff's office, according to Recordpub.com.

Whenever the president makes a campaign stop the U.S. Secret Service coordinates the visit with local police and fire departments.

And the cost of the assistance provided by local departments typically comes out of local coffers.

Officials in Fairlawn, OH, estimate the president's overnight stay there cost the city $34,000 — mostly in personnel expenses.

Officials in Newport Beach, CA, tried to charge the Secret Service $35,000 for a campaign stop in February.

Max Milien, a spokesperson for the Secret Service, told the Newport Beach-Corona Del Mar Patch that the agency does not reimburse local safety forces for their costs associated with a presidential visit.

"This is not new. We have never reimbursed police departments," Milien said.

David Reith September 26, 2012 at 04:24 PM
John Williams September 26, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Complaining about $5,500 is silly. This is positively bringing Kent and Kent State into the news. The fact that a president (any president - regardless of party affiliation) would visit the city and university, very much casts the city and the university in a positive light.
David Reith September 26, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Hear, hear to Eric, Terry, Murphy-Solon, Rex, Gary, and Jessica
Frederick John Kluth September 26, 2012 at 07:35 PM
The desire of the city to collect the costs of the presidents visit is petty beyond belief. With this spirit in mind nobody important will visit Kent and it will slip into a murky backwater.
Myron Holley September 27, 2012 at 05:07 AM
More waste. This jerk o lies needs to go back to Chy town.


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