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City OKs $20M To Help Cover Cost Of Baltimore Unrest

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- It's been one month since Baltimore's riots and we're starting to get an idea how much the city's response cost taxpayers.

Derek Valcourt explains the city is preparing to fork out $20 million.

That $20 million is just from the city -- and may end up being just a small piece of the total that those riots will cost the state.

Even before teens started throwing rocks and setting fires on April 27, the city had already brought in extra hired help from other police jurisdictions around the state and the city's own officers worked lots of overtime throughout the disturbances.

Now the city's Board of Estimates authorizes taking $20 million out of the rainy day fund to help cover some of those unexpected costs, and the mayor says they're working to replenish the rainy day fund.

"In order to replenish this fund, we've already worked with the state to apply for a federal FEMA reimbursement and we are confident that we will receive a significant reimbursement from the federal government," said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

That $20 million from the city's rainy day fund comes on top of the $20 million Governor Hogan said would come out of the state's rainy day fund to cover some of its expenses, including paying for the 3,000 National Guard troops who spent a week on the streets.

But we're still a long way from knowing how much riots cost city businesses.

"Every business in the city was affected because for a week we had no business. No one was coming in and they're affected by the now tarnished reputation of our city," said Governor Hogan.

Officials say more than 380 businesses suffered some damage in the riots. The Small Business Administration now offering loans to businesses that were damaged physically and even those without damage, but hurt financially.

"And the interest rate is very, very low and the terms are long, so the payments can be very, very small," said Alana Chavez, Small Business Administration.

City and state leaders say it could still be many months before they have a full picture of how much the riots cost businesses and the government in total.

The governor and state congressional leaders are asking the president to declare Baltimore's rioting a major disaster. That would ensure Maryland is eligible for federal disaster recovery dollars.

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