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Minneapolis will recover $100K in costs connected to 2019 Trump rally

The Target Center operator said it'll pay the costs over three years.

The City of Minneapolis will recover $100,000 in costs related to providing city services during a Trump rally at the city-owned Target Center on Oct. 10, 2019, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced Thursday. 

The settlement agreement between the operator of the Target Center and the city has to still be approved by the Minneapolis City Council. When that happens, it'll be the first time a locality has offset the costs for a Trump campaign rally after the event, a news release says.

“As we continue confronting extraordinary challenges at the local level, our federal leaders have the opportunity – and obligation – to stand up for taxpayers by ensuring they’re not left footing the bill for political events,” Frey said in a statement. “We have a duty to protect free speech regardless of the content, but we don’t have to subsidize it.”

The city previously identified $200,000 in municipal costs associated with traffic control, temporary barriers, public works construction and other services that it believes are eligible to be reimbursed. The operator of the Target Center has agreed to pay half, with the city noting that "Some remaining expenditures for services rendered to protect First Amendment free speech and assembly rights are ineligible for reimbursement.

The Target Center operator will make payments to the city over a three year period, with the money going into the city's General Fund. The agreement also says the city will work with the Target Center to avoid similar issues in the future. 

“We are pleased to be able to assist the City in covering some of its costs in providing municipal services and to provide input as to how city services for future campaign events will be handled," Regional Vice President of ASM Global and General Manager of the Target Center Hugh Lombardi said. "As operators of the Target Center, we never lose sight of our public partnership and how important the venue is to the taxpayers and the local economy."

Prior to Trump's October 2019 campaign visit to Minneapolis, which drew both supporters and protests, his campaign said it wouldn't pay extra costs associated with the visit despite Frey and the city demanding it do so ahead of the event. 

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