Saturday, February 13, 2016

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.

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About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to
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