Who has to pay for President Trump's visit to Rochester?

The city says it was not under the impression that it would be reimbursed because the trip was classified as a presidential visit, but a councilmember thinks otherwise.

Posted: Dec 10, 2018 6:04 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – More than two month after President Donald Trump visited the city, KIMT is learning taxpayers might be on the hook for the extra costs related to his visit.

City councilman Michael Wojcik posted an article entitled ‘Trump Campaign stiffs Rochester Taxpayers’ on his campaign website.

He says he wants the public to know how their tax dollars are being sent.

“Part of my role here on the city council is to bring transparency to the process,” Wojcik said, “and I feel I've done that by putting those numbers out there and how we address it is yet another step that we have to take.”

President Trump’s Make America Great Again rally took place at the Mayo Civic Center on Oct. 4.

Getting the President to the rally safely required a lot of coordination on the city’s part. The hours that went into making the rally a success started well before Air Force One touched down at Rochester International Airport.

According to the city, Rochester employees invested more than 1,400 hours on the presidential visit. Between personnel costs, resources and equipment, that added up to a total of roughly $76,000. That amount does not account for the 740 hours worked by the city’s salaried employees.

Wojcik said he asked the city to keep track of the costs of the President’s visit.

He even crunched the numbers his own numbers, saying local tax payers will be on the hook for closer to $100,000.

“Quite frankly there's a big difference between a campaign event and a presidential visit,” Wojcik said. “This was quite frankly a campaign event so the campaign should be invoiced and pay the full amount for the public expenditures.”

The city says it was not under the impression that it would be reimbursed because the trip was classified as a presidential visit.

Those with the city say they’ll be reaching out to the campaign to determine if there will be any reimbursement.

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