It will take at least $20 million to repair Baltimore’s damage from the protests, according to the initial estimate released by the city.
The recent rioting and unrest in Baltimore will cost the city an estimated $20 million, officials said Tuesday. The expenses — which go before the city’s spending board for approval Wednesday — include overtime for police and firefighters, damage to city-owned property and repaying other jurisdictions for police and other assistance.
Henry J. Raymond, Baltimore’s finance director, said the city can temporarily cover the costs from its rainy day fund while seeking reimbursement for up to 75 percent from Federal Emergency Management Agency.
But what about the unseen costs of the rioting? There were small businesses who missed out on sales, tourists who canceled trips, waitstaff at restaurants who lost tip money, recent graduates who were considering renting in Baltimore and decided to live somewhere else instead, and countless other opportunities for economic growth in Baltimore that were destroyed along with the city neighborhoods.
The real costs to Baltimore, seen and unseen, will never be known. And that is a real tragedy.