“It’s very expensive with no reimbursement:" City leaders estimate the cost of presidential visit to Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- It is too soon to know exactly how much money President Donald Trump’s visit will cost the city of Milwaukee, but city leaders estimate it will cost thousands of dollars.
Preparing a city for a presidential visit is not an easy task.
“It’s a massive undertaking,” Alderman Mark Borkowski said. “It’s not cheap and it’s not easy.”
“It’s very expensive with no reimbursement, so it’s on the city of Milwaukee,” Alderwoman Chantia Lewis said.
The Department of Public Works and Milwaukee Police Department pulled out all the stops to make sure that The President’s visit ran smoothly, blocking off roads and setting up barricades. Many employees worked overtime.
“Our city services were all hands on deck to make sure that one, it was blocked off properly, and two that MPD was there to man the traffic control,” Alderman Lewis said.
She also said the city was not expecting a presidential visit this year, and it was not in the budget, so other areas may take a hit to pay for the visit.
“While everyone is complaining about streets and infrastructure and so on and so forth…that’s a cost we have to incur without any type of federal reimbursement so it just takes another hit to the budget,” she said.
But some city leaders think The President’s visit was well worth the cost.
“I think it’s important that the sitting president, whoever it is, does come to our community because it keeps us in focus and keeps us in a positive light,” Alderman Borkowski said.
Borkowski hopes the visit keeps Milwaukee on the President’s radar.
“Hopefully if we need something we can go to The President and say hey you were here, you saw this how can you help us,” he said.
Most city leaders agree President Trump’s visit was untimely with the start of Summerfest and the fireworks Wednesday night but say for the most part the visit went smoothly.