Application period begins for reimbursement for Trump security costs

7:29 p.m Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 Homepage
President Donald J. Trump waves to his supporters on Southern Boulevard as his motorcade crosses the Bingham Island Bridge in Palm Beach on March 4, 2017. (Michael Ares / The Palm Beach Post)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is now accepting applications for grants to repay local government for costs associated with protecting President Donald Trump, and Palm Beach County is expected to make a pitch for $3.5 million of that money.

“More relief is on the way for local law enforcement agencies that have provided protection for the president,” U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm, announced in a statement Thursday. “The FEMA grant announced today allows the Palm Beach County Sheriff and other law enforcement agencies that provided protection to apply for money to cover their costs.”

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Since his inauguration, Trump has visited his Mar-a-Lago estate on Palm Beach seven separate times for a total of 25 days. On each visit, PBSO has assisted with roadway management and security.

Frankel’s statement noted that PBSO and Palm Beach County Fire Rescue have spent $2.5 million in overtime costs alone “not including additional costs for barricades, fencing, and other necessary expenses.”

Congress provided $41 million to FEMA for local governments that protected Trump after he was sworn into office. The application period for that money began at 1 p.m. Thursday, and local governments have until 5 p.m., Oct. 31 to apply. Palm Beach County expects to apply for about $3.5 million.

With some governments submitting their applications well in advance of that deadline, FEMA expects to dole out some grant money by Sept. 30 with other grants being awarded on a rolling basis through the rest of the year, Assistant County Administrator Todd Bonlarron said.

The county can apply for grant funding directly through FEMA or through the state Department of Emergency Management.

Congress also has appropriated $20 million to the U.S. Department of Justice so it can reimburse local governments for pre-inauguration security costs.

Bonlarron said the county has already applied for $963,054 of pre-inauguration money and hopes to learn how much of that it will get before this fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.

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