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NYC, businesses bemoan cost of Trump Tower security

Dan Garodnick, whose district includes Trump Tower, chaired a hearing Jan. 10, 2017, at the New York City Council examining the impact of presidential security precautions. (Credit: Newsday / Matthew Chayes)

Frustrated politicians and business leaders on Tuesday lamented how much securing Trump Tower is costing New York City: $37.4 million extra for NYPD cops assigned to the skyscraper and more than $40 million in lost revenue for nearby businesses on Fifth Avenue.

And that’s before Donald Trump is sworn in.

Once Trump becomes president, aviation controllers will freeze all other air traffic when he travels through Kennedy Airport and security will get even tighter around the tower and along his motorcade’s path.

“It’s an entirely different beast than what we have seen to date,” said Councilman Dan Garodnick. “You’ve got ambulances and you’ve got SUVs and you’ve got nuclear codes and you’ve got everything traveling in an enormous fleet of vehicles.”

The daily price tag is about $500,000, when Trump is there, for the extra NYPD cops redeployed to the tower from regular patrol posts across the five boroughs, said NYPD Deputy Chief James Kehoe, who helps oversee patrol in midtown Manhattan. The city must pay officers overtime to cover shifts vacated by the Trump contingent.

“It doesn’t seem fair,” Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Queens) said at a City Council hearing convened to examine the Trump impact.

“This is a really messed up situation for the businesses,” said Gale Brewer, Manhattan borough president.

Tom Cusick, president of the Fifth Avenue Association Business Improvement District, described a “nightmare on Fifth Avenue” that started after Trump was elected.

Garodnick (D-Manhattan), who oversaw Tuesday’s hearing, said less business means less tax revenue “and layoffs cannot be far behind.”

“To the president-elect: we understand you have a home on Fifth Avenue, and we ask that you not treat Trump Tower like a pied-à-terre,” he said. “We ask that you spend your time over the next four years at the White House. The White House is lovely at any time of the year.”

Trump has said he would return periodically to Manhattan, where his wife, Melania Trump, and their son, Barron, are expected to live to allow the boy to continue on at school.

Unless the federal government supplements the increased security costs — so far, Congress has offered $7 million — the NYPD will exceed its projected annual overtime budget of between $500 million and $550 million, according to the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for management and budget, Vincent Grippo.

Kehoe demurred when asked whether the Secret Service could dictate manpower or street closures over the NYPD’s objection.

“You don’t take orders from them?” Garodnick asked Kehoe.

“I don’t think so,” he said.

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