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U.S. Government Puts Nixon Funeral Costs at $311,039 : Services: Yorba Linda is not reimbursed for nearly $100,000 in security and other expenses. The agency in charge says the city did not put in for payment.

October 04, 1994|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Richard Nixon's funeral in Yorba Linda cost the federal government $311,039. It cost the city nearly $100,000, which the government will not reimburse.

The Military District of Washington, which was in charge of the government's arrangements, released the figures Monday.

The federal government will not pay Yorba Linda close to $100,000 it cost to provide security for the service, saying the city had never formally requested the money.

The Air Force spent $211,582, which included the $25,000 cost of taking President Clinton and invited dignitaries across the country on Air Force One and $150,000 for two C-141 transports carrying troops for the honor guard.

The former President, who died on April 22 after an earlier massive stroke, is buried next to his wife on the grounds of the privately financed Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace.

The city said its expenses totaled about $98,000 to handle 34,000 people who either paid their last respects or stood outside of the grounds while 8,000 invited guests attended the funeral.

A city councilman, Mark Schwing, had suggested that the federal government help pick up that tab, too. The office of the area's congressman, Rep. Jay C. Kim (R-Diamond Bar) said the idea never was pushed.

"We approached Jay Kim's office informally to inquire if we could be reimbursed," Schwing said Monday. "I believe we were told that there were no provisions to reimburse the city for that. I don't think it's fair."

Schwing said that the city should be repaid because "a good bit of our cost was for protection of the dignitaries and the President," a cost the military would have had to bear if the funeral had taken place in Washington.

"We should have been reimbursed for it. Certainly, it was money that came out of general fund or reserves, normally used for the betterment of the city. "

Bill Early, budget director for the General Services Administration, said he never received a formal request for reimbursement.

The federal government's costs also included $62,635 by the Marine Corps, $26,764 by the Army, $4,433 by the Army National Guard, $3,500 by the Navy and $2,125 by the Air National Guard, the Military District of Washington said.

The city, which contracts with the Brea Police Department, spent $30,500 on police wages and another $21,700 on police overtime; $18,700 in other personnel costs; $26,700 for workers to erect and pick up street barriers, cones and barricades that diverted traffic from the library and $323 on food, according to city authorities.

Nearly half of the $98,000 the city spent on the funeral would have been spent on daily services, even if the funeral had not taken place, they said.

Trash collection and street sweeping was done by city employees who donated their time. Local businesses donated food for the officers who directed traffic and patrolled during a nightlong vigil before the service. A grocery chain donated 600 pounds of macaroni salad.

The city also had borne the costs of Nixon's visits to the library and the costs of Pat Nixon's funeral, including security.

President Clinton took a diverse delegation of political figures to the funeral, including former Sen. George McGovern, the South Dakota Democrat who Nixon defeated in a landslide in the 1972 presidential election. There also were congressional leaders, nine members of Nixon's Cabinet and officials who had served under Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan or Bush. All five Presidents who have succeeded Nixon attended the funeral.

Sometime early next year the Government Printing Office will turn out a "eulogy book" that incorporates the speeches members of Congress delivered on the House and Senate floors.

The estimated publishing run is 32,500 copies, of which 22,150 are for use of the House and the rest for the Senate. The books will not go on public sale.

Ann Chambers of the Joint Committee on Printing, who will edit the volume, said eulogy books have been printed after the deaths of nearly all of the country's Presidents. She said the publication of Nixon's book will follow those of Rep. William Natcher (D-Ky.), who died in March after an unmatched streak of 18,401 consecutive House votes; former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis; former House Speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill Jr. (D-Mass.), and retired Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Times staff writer Mark I. Pinsky contributed to this report.

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