President Barack Obama's planned campaign stop in Kent on Wednesday may not prove as costly as recent stops in other small towns across the country.
Kent Police Chief Michelle Lee said information remains scarce about the Democratic incumbent's scheduled visit, but he is expected to be in Kent by 3:50 p.m. Wednesday via the Akron-Canton Airport.
Lee said the time may change.
"That’s going to depend on where exactly he’s going to go," she said. "The plan is he’s going to be on the (Kent State University) campus somewhere."
University officials haven't released any information about the stop and still had no comment when asked about the president's planned visit Friday.
"We can neither confirm nor deny the report," Kent State spokesperson Eric Mansfield said Thursday.
Towns Often Pay for Presidential Visit
Whenever the president makes a campaign stop the U.S. Secret Service coordinates the visit with local police and fire departments.
And the cost of the assistance provided by local departments typically comes out of local coffers.
Officials in Fairlawn, OH, estimate the president's overnight stay there cost the city $34,000 — mostly in personnel expenses.
Max Milien, a spokesperson for the Secret Service, told the Newport Beach-Corona Del Mar Patch that the agency does not reimburse local safety forces for their costs associated with a presidential visit.
"This is not new. We have never reimbursed police departments," Milien said.
Officials in Newport Beach, CA, tried to charge the Secret Service $35,000 for a campaign stop in February.
But the Kent stop may not cost nearly as much.
Lee said the Kent Police Department isn't expecting personnel costs anywhere near the Fairlawn or Newport Beach stops.
She said Kent is only anticipating adding a few officers on traffic detail to aid the president's motorcade as it makes its way from the Akron airport to the Kent State campus.
"Our costs are minimal as of right now," she said. "That could certainly change. We won't know until the location is final."
The speculation around Kent is that the president also will make a stop downtown to see the more than $100 million in redevelopment work, which was kickstarted in part by a $20 million federal transportation grant for PARTA's Kent Central Gateway transit center and parking garage.
Such a stop downtown would involve extra officers on security and traffic details and service department workers for street closures.
"That’s when our costs would rise," Lee said.
She said because he's only scheduled to be in town between one and two hours the costs should be minimal either way. And because right now it looks like he may only stop on campus the university will shoulder much of the related costs.
"Unless plans drastically change, which I don’t foresee that happening," Lee said.