Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

City dishes out $1 million for Occupy Philly

City Budget Director Rebecca Rynhart announced that the city dished out a little more than $1 million for the protest, mostly in police overtime.

City dishes out $1 million for Occupy Philly

Updated: To include additional information

The costs are in and Occupy Philly left behind a hefty tab for the city to pick-up.

City Budget Director Rebecca Rynhart announced today that through Wednesday the city dished out a little more than $1 million, mostly in police overtime for the movement against corporate greed which began on Oct. 6.

That number is far lower than the city’s projected $2.5 million they had anticipated spending in police overtime if protesters stuck around on Dilworth Plaza until the end of the fiscal year, which ends June 30, according to the quarterly city manager's report released Nov. 15.

Rynhart said $930,000 was spent in police overtime and the remainder of costs includes clean-up.

“A big portion of [the costs] was in the last week with all of the activity that was taking place,” Rynhart said. “The cost in the last week were over $400,000 alone.”

Protesters were evicted early Thursday morning and 52 protesters were arrested during a showdown with police. Shortly, after the eviction, clean-up began on the Westside of City Hall –the area is now fenced-off.

But that doesn’t mean the Occupy movement is over and City Finance Director Rob Dubow said costs could increase depending on Occupy’s next move.

“We don’t know what could happen in the rest of the year but we could wind up spending more than we have spent so far,” Dubow said.

These costs come at a time when more budget cuts are on the horizon, due to weak tax revenues in the first few months of the fiscal year. City department heads were asked, in September to prepare plans for 2 percent budget cuts. Dubow said departments are still going through the cut process. Police, prisons and fire departments are exempt.

Meanwhile, the city says Occupy Philly owes it money for electricity they used, but mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald said that total is not yet clear.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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