The hidden cost of the DNC

By Steve Crump - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -WBTV is On Your Side  investigating the hidden costs of the D-N-C.

We've been told hosting the convention won't cost taxpayers a dime, but the devil's may be in the details.

Public safety comes with a big price tag…a price tag that you may end up paying for.

One day after the Democratic National Committee announced that it's big party was coming to town, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx made the point that local taxpayers would not have to foot the bill.

However, County Manager Harry Jones isn't  so sure.

"There's likely to be some additional cost associated with the DNC. Don't know what they might be just yet," Jones said.

We've learned in one case that county tax dollars may be used for public safety.

Sheriff Chipp Bailey would like to see a new arrest processing center to replace this one at the County Jail.

Bailey said, "Denver only had 100 arrests. Minneapolis had 800 for the republicans."

Bailey is speaking of arrests with previous conventions, and his  plan is to have it built between now and the start of the 2012 convention.

The costs as well as funding sources are unclear, and questions also remain if it can be finished on time.

"I've asked them to look at fast tracking it, but there are some inherent issues when you do that. I want to make sure that it's done right," according to Sheriff.

County Commissioner Bill James who is a republican says he and his fellow board members should have seen some additional costs connected to the convention.

" I think on purpose, the people trying to bring the convention to town didn't mention a lot of this, because they didn't want to involved politicians."

Even if the current lock up isn't replaced, the sheriff said  may have to go another route.

"We're gonna have to look at an alternative site for arrest processing."

There's no official price tag on that processing center just yet.

The federal government and the D-N-C is picking up a lot of the law enforcement costs.

It's uncertain if  Mecklenburg County will  have to go at it alone to pay for the project.

Private donors also will contribute a good deal of money.  The goal is to raise 30-million dollars.

Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers is spear-heading that effort.

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