Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

Obama visit found costly for Athens, Ohio University alike

City of Athens:

Athens Fire Department overtime and food costs: $3,709.39

Athens Police Department overtime costs: $5,519.25

Engineering and Public Works equipment and supplies: $3,221.61

Athens’ cost: $12,450.25

Ohio University:

Administrative costs: $4,300

Event Services staffing costs: $1,300

Facilities’ custodial[CD1] , grounds and miscellaneous repair work: $15,705.99

Emergency Medical Services costs: $1,000.00

Table/chair rental, set up and tear down: $2,738.00

Ohio University Police costs: $9,690.23

Ohio Office of Information Technology costs: $16,385.22


Total: $51,119.44

Billable to the Obama campaign: $33,313.72

OU’s cost: $17,805.72


TOTAL COST to Athens and OU: $30,255.97


About 14,000 people came to see President Barack Obama speak on College Green in October free of charge; the City of Athens and Ohio University ended up footing the $30,000 bill.

With overtime and supply costs from Athens Engineering and Public Works and the city’s police and fire departments, Athens recorded more than $12,000 in costs for Obama’s visit, and a variety of university personnel and materials cost OU more than $17,000.

The city anticipated significant costs for the president’s visit, especially considering preparations began just days before the event, said Ron Lucas, Athens deputy service-safety director.

The costs the city reported might be slightly high because city vehicles and equipment were accounted for as if they were running the entire time, which was not the case, said Paula Horan-Moseley, Athens service-safety director.

The city’s efforts were well-matched with the university, said Lucas, who added that the event was “definitely a dual effort.”

OU actually incurred more than $50,000, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi said.

The university will be reimbursed for costs through the OU College Democrats, which hosted the event, said Shannon Welch, president of the organization. The College Democrats will, in turn, be reimbursed by the Obama campaign, she said.

After the reimbursement, OU will have paid about $17,800.

The costs will be covered by each of the university and city departments that incurred the costs, such as Facilities and APD, Lombardi and Lucas said.

The Obama campaign did not reimburse the city or university for protecting the president or costs for grounds “beautification” that would have occurred otherwise, Lombardi said.

“A lot of compliments should be given to the staff. They did a phenomenal job,” Lombardi said. “Those people didn’t get a lot of time, and in three days, they pulled off the event of the decade.”

Jeremy Schaffer, associate director of OU Event Services, said the preparations were “a little bit hectic” but went well considering the time frame.

Councilwoman Chris Knisely, D-At Large, said bringing the president to Athens was well worth the cost and effort.

“I can’t think of a better example to interest young people in politics and voting,” Knisely said. “It absolutely is worth it. It truly was a historic moment.”

Sara Jerde, Brandon Carte, Sam Howard and Lucas Daprile contributed to this article.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH