The visit of Pope John Paul II to Washington cost taxpayers about $1.5 million, including $950,000 in overtime pay for D.C. and U.S. Park Police, officials reported yesterday.
The city government has the largest bill for the pope's 34-hour stay in Washington, about $900,000, including $800,000 for police overtime and the rest for overtime for health, sanitation and other workers, according to city spokesman Alan Grip.
But taxpayers throughout the country may eventually pick up the tab. The city has already asked the federal Office of Management and Budget for an extra $900,000 appropriation to cover the city's expenses for the weekend. In the past the federal government has assumed the cost of such extra expenses, such as for police overtime when striking farmers camped on the Mall last winter.
Police officials said that 3,800 officers were on duty throughout the weekend -- about three times the normal number. Grip said the health workers provided medical aid on the Mall for injured worshipers at Sunday's mass there, while the santiation workers swept streets along the papal motorcade routes and later cleaned streets near the Mall after the mass.
National Park Service spokesman George Berklacy said the papal visit cost his agency more than $200,000, including $150,000 in overtime for 750 Park Police officers, some of whom were brought in from San Francisco to augment the local force.
He said the other Park Service costs included food and lodging for the officers, pay for electricians and plumbers and $13,500 for rental of a 5,500-foot chain-link fence to help control the 175,000 people who showed up for the mass on the Mall.
Metro's net expenses for operating the subway six extra hours Sunday may amount to $400,000. Metro General Manager Richard S. Page told the Metro board last Thursday that the cost of the extra service, mostly for overtime pay for train operators, maintenance personnel and station attendants, could amount to $500,000, an amount that would be borne by area taxpayers.
That expense is partially offset, however, by $100,000 in fare revenues from the 200,000 people who rode the subway Sunday.
In addition to the expenses that will be picked up by the taxpayers, the Catholic Church in the Washington area spent another $400,000 on the papal visit, with the biggest expenditure for construction of the massive white altar and backdrop for the mass on the Mass.
The church raised that money from donations from Catholic churches throughout the Washington archdiocese and the Arlington diocese. In the Washington archdiocese, which includes 136 churches in Washington and Montgomery, Prince George's, St. Mary's and Charles counties, Cardinal William Baum asked that every parish contribute $5 for each family in its membership, while in Arlington a special collection was taken.
While workmen began dismantling the altar yesterday, 1,200 boys and girls, all of them members of various Catholic yough groups or various scouting organizations, staged a massive and swift cleanup of the Mall area between Seventh and 12th streets.
Although the church leaders thought the cleanup project would take about four hours, the youths had the work done within an hour and a half. Their reward: two free soft drinks, compliments of the Catholic Youth Organization, and a certificate of appreciation with a picture of the pope on it.
Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Lyons, who watched the Mall cleanup yesterday, said that church officials were at once pleased with the turnout at Sunday's mass, but also disappointed that more did not attend.
He said that Park Service officials had made the estimate that as many as one million people might attend, but that church officials had never figured that more than 500,000 would show up.
"I think a lot got scared away" by reports of an expected much larger crowd, Lyons said.
The bishop said that American Catholics have "a lot of things to think about" as a result of the pope's week-long visit to the U.S.
"He called attention to some very basic principles, such as human dignity and human rights," Lyons said. "I don't think anyone has abandoned those principles, but they haven't heard anyone talk about them for awhile."