WASHINGTON (January 18, 2002) - As 300 of the nation's mayors gather in Washington to discuss homeland security and ideas for reviving the economy, a new survey by the U.S. Conference of Mayors finds that cities across the country expect to spend more than an additional $2.6 billion on security between September 11, 2001 and the end of 2002.
The estimate, based on a survey of nearly 200 cities, is substantially higher than the $1.5 billion in additional security costs for cities that the Conference initially estimated in a survey released in October. That survey, based on a smaller sampling of cities, covered the year following September.
"Tightening security in the aftermath of September 11 threatens to break the bank for many city budgets," said New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. "Mayors are on the frontlines in securing our cities and our homeland. We desperately need a partnership with the federal government to help address these growing security costs."
According to projections based on the survey, U.S. cities spent an additional $525 million in security costs from September 11 through the end of 2001. They plan to spend an additional $2.1 billion on security this calendar year, an average of $1.84 million per city. These costs are over and above any expected and planned security spending. These figures represent expected additional security spending; cities' actual needs may, in fact, be even greater.
The survey found that cities are planning to spend half of the additional security funds on equipment needs. Twenty-three percent of the funds will be used for overtime costs, mostly for local police and firefighters. Hiring additional personnel, training. And other costs account for the rest. The report, which is available on usmayors.org, catalogs specific examples by city.
Today, mayors will hear from Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge and Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. They will also meet in smaller groups to share ideas about transportation security, emergency preparedness, and federal-local law enforcement cooperation. Tomorrow, mayors will meet with President Bush before boarding a special Acela Express train to New York. On Friday, they will hear from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and business leaders as they discuss efforts to stimulate the nation's economy. On Saturday, they will hold a memorial for the victims of the September 11 attack and visit Ground Zero.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,139 such cities in the country today, each represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the Mayor.
Andy Solomon (202) 861-6766
Lina Garcia (202) 861-6719
Chris Hayes (202) 326-1768