Milwaukee alderman wants Summerfest to pay city more for policing services

NOW: Milwaukee alderman wants Summerfest to pay city more for policing services

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A Milwaukee alderman wants Summerfest to pay the city more for the policing services it provides, and now he's trying to force the issue by objecting to the event's special permit. 

Milwaukee World Festival, Inc., which runs Summerfest, and the city are in dispute over security costs that have topped $800,000 for four straight years. 

Alderman Robert Bauman blocked Summerfest's application for street closures and other restrictions. He also introduced a resolution to change the appeals process so that the full council would have to vote on it. 

If the ordinance is amended, Summerfest would qualify as a "Class AA" event for the activities outside of the festival park grounds and that means it would have to foot the whole bill. 

"You go down Milwaukee Street, Milwaukee and Chicago, hundreds of officers are deployed for traffic enforcement and traffic control. Most of that's overtime and most of that is coming right out of the City of Milwaukee taxpayers' pocket, and we want to be reimbursed for that cost," said Alderman Bauman. 

Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. released the following statement: 

Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. (MWF) officials are engaged in active conversations with the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) to fully understand the costs brought forth by the City of Milwaukee. We are conducting appropriate due diligence regarding MPD’s costs for services.

While we have not met with Alderman Bauman directly to discuss these issues, we are aware of his opinion given his comments at the recent Public Works committee meeting.

Given that our dialogue with MPD is ongoing, we are not going to debate or negotiate via the media. MWF will continue conversations directly with MPD. Again, these conversations are taking place in earnest, in consultation with our Board chairman, and a committee of the Board appointed to study this issue, and try to find a reasonable solution.
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