Bedminster officials prepare for possible visits from President Trump and first family

Bedminster officials are preparing for possible visits from President Trump and the first family

Bedminster officials are preparing for possible visits from President Trump and the first family (4/20/17)

BEDMINSTER - Now that the Florida resort season is coming to a close, officials in Bedminster are preparing for possible visits from President Donald Trump and the first family.

The president has typically taken weekend getaways at the Trump National Golf Club Mar-a-Lago. But there is a possibility that he will spend time at his golf club in Bedminster this summer, and officials say that they want to be ready.

“We're all flattered that the president likes Bedminster as much as most of us in Bedminster like Bedminster,” says Mayor Steven Parker

There are no official dates or plans from the White House for Trump to visit Bedminster in the near future. But Parker says that local, state, and federal agencies are planning for the president to make frequent visits. The amount of money it will cost local taxpayers to help tighten security for the president is still unknown.

"It is wait and see. We haven't seen him come visit as president and that's significantly different than the November visit,” the mayor says. “And it will be different than when he was a private citizen. We don't know yet.”

Parkers says that the township’s 18-person police force racked up about $36,000 in overtime when Trump visited Bedminster as president-elect. Town officials say that they estimate that seven three-day visits could cost more than $300,000. Parker says that Bedminster’s budget doesn’t account for these costs.

The mayor says that the town, county, and state are working diligently to secure federal reimbursements.

“We don’t want the Bedminster residents to pay an undue amount for that security,” he says.

Some Bedminster residents say that they aren’t’ too worked about the expenses.

“Tax money goes up and down depending on the different inconveniences,” says one resident. “We don't know it is what it is.”

But Trump visits to Bedminster may also affect local aviators as well. A co-owner for nearby Solberg Airport tells News 12 New Jersey that Secret Service agents visited the airport this week. The co-owner says that whenever the president is town, they have to close the airports with a 72-hour notice from Secret Service.

In a letter to Rep. Leonard Lance’s office last month, the Justice Department estimated that $7 million can be used to help state and local law enforcement agencies for costs associated with protecting the president. 

This dollar amount was from before Inauguration Day. It is unclear how the federal funding will be distributed.

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