Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) said Thursday he will seek federal reimbursement for Occupy D.C.-related expenses incurred by the city.
Gray, in a NewsChannel 8 interview, said that because the protests are taking place on federal parkland with the apparent blessing of the National Park Service, the District government should not have to absorb an estimated $1.6 million in policing and trash removal costs.
He also renewed concerns about the indefinite nature of the protests, noting “increasing frustrations” in the business community. “There’s been no clear articulation ... of what the issues are,” Gray told host Bruce DePuyt. “Many people in the business community are growing weary of this.”
Gray did praise a group of hunger strikers who are advocating voting rights for D.C. residents, saying their gesture “puts some specificity” on the Occupy protests.
It is not unusual for the District to be reimbursed by the federal government for the costs related to federal functions. The District, for instance, won a $39 million reimbursement for the costs of handling Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration.