Missoula County Commissioners will be meeting to decide if expenses for President Trump’s visit to Missoula last week should be billed to the Rosendale for Senate campaign.

Commissioner Jean Curtiss said the costs of paying for protection for the President ran into the thousands of dollars.

“We feel like it wasn’t a Presidential visit to see how our flooding looks like, or talk about policies that would affect western Montana,” said Curtiss. “It was totally a campaign visit, so we feel like the campaign should be paying for the additional costs of Missoula County.”

Curtiss said commissioners have totaled up the costs for the President’s visit, and they are substantial.

“It’s about $12,000,” she said. “When you add up all the overtime for deputies, 9-1-1 folks, emergency operations, and of course, those are just county expenses. We try to anticipate emergency expenses, like the floods this past summer which took a bunch of money and fire does as well, but this was not an emergency, it was a planned event. The other thing that came out of our meeting was that we don’t have a written policy on this, and we’re going to working on that, too.”

Curtiss said Missoula has hosted several large events that cost the city and county money for services provided.

“The public has reminded us that Bernie Sanders was here when he was campaigning,” she said. “Hillary Clinton’s been here as has Barack Obama. That’s not quite the level of the President coming here, but that’s this kind of thing we’ll put in the policy.”

Curtiss said the commissioners plan to send a letter to the Rosendale campaign because he was the principal reason for the President’s visit, but that Greg Gianforte benefitted, as well.

In the next few days, the Rosendale for Senate campaign could be asked to reimburse Missoula County for about $12,000 for the President’s visit.

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