Milwaukee DNC racked up at least $12.6M in security costs; city working to get it back through federal grant

NOW: Milwaukee DNC racked up at least $12.6M in security costs; city working to get it back through federal grant

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The 2020 Democratic National Convention (DNC) once expected to bring $200 million to Milwaukee, brought almost nothing.

Milwaukee Alderwoman Milele Coggs wants to know how much the city will pay for security after area businesses lost out on 50,000 visitors.

“What so many people have invested, in order to prepare for what they thought would be a regular, large-scale DNC, is probably numbers that we can’t even calculate,” Coggs said.

The Milwaukee City Budget Office said the expenses are currently estimated at $12.6 million, but that will almost certainly increase. They do not believe expenses will surpass $20.9 million. That would all be covered under a $50 million federal security grant, but the money was not given to Milwaukee up front.

“At no time did the city receive $50 million to just put in its coffers somewhere and provide security," Milwaukee Budget and Policy Manager Bryan Rynders said. "It was all based on reimbursement.”

All expenses need to pass through an audit before the federal government pays the city back. Rynders said he is confident the city did everything right, and will receive that money, but it is not a guarantee.

“It will all come down to the audit," Rynders said. "I think we have a very strong footing for that audit, but time will tell.”

Coggs says one positive in a difficult financial year, is the police may have received equiptment that the city will no longer have to purchase.

“Watching and seeing what they were able to receive in the grant for the DNC versus what they asked for may help guide some of our decisions.”

The totals are still being added up for DNC  expense. City leaders plan to revisit the issue once totals are complete.

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