All parties, including the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, have approved a controversial agreement making Olympic organizers responsible for at least $15 million in security costs for the 2002 Winter Games.

Olympic trustees were told Thursday that SLOC management, the state and the cities hosting Games events have agreed to the memorandum of understanding, almost a month after the deal's near collapse.

Fraser Bullock, SLOC's chief operating officer, has signed the agreement. Representatives of the other entities involved have either signed or verabally agreed to the deal.

The agreement means more money for the 2002 Games. That's because the deal routes the $13 million that would have been collected in sales taxes on Olympic tickets, plus an additional $2 million from SLOC, to the Utah Olympic Public Safety Command.

The agreement makes the organizing committee responsible for securing funding for the public safety costs associated with the Games. Most of that money is coming from the state, through the sales taxes and, hopefully, the federal government.

SLOC President Mitt Romney called the agreement crucial to balancing the more than $1.3 billion budget for the Games. Even with the deal in place,

organizers will still face a $64 million shortfall.

Members of the SLOC Board of Trustees also heard that, for the first time, organizers will have to dip into their $140 million contingency fund. Some $4 million is needed to cover event services costs, including providing security at Olympic venues.

SLOC had hoped to staff security checkpoints with volunteers but found after reviewing their plans that would be difficult. Volunteers, for example, are not likely to want to work overnight shifts.

Romney said he was not concerned that the contingency funds were being tapped. "With a year to go, we have to expect that to be whittled down," he said.

Organizers may have another financial problem on their hands, at least according to some public safety officials. While they have sorted out who's paying the bulk of the cost of securing the Games, there are still questions about a volunteer program.

News of agreement on Olympic security funding comes on the heels of a debate over paying for a volunteer program involving law enforcement at a monthly meeting of the Olympic command Wednesday.

Salt Lake City Police Chief Rick Dinse said $4 million promised from SLOC to pay for a law enforcement volunteer program was missing from the command's $25 million budget for the 2002 Games.

Dinse, who was voted Wednesday as the command's new vice chairman to replace Salt Lake County Sheriff Aaron Kennard, said he approved the budget in December after being assured the $4 million was in the budget.

Fraser Bullock, chief operating officer for SLOC, said the $4 million was included as part of the personnel support funds in the command's budget. "The $4 million is definitely there," Bullock said.

There seems to be some confusion among public safety officials whether that's true.

UOPSC spokesman Chris Kramer downplayed Wednesday's episode as a misunderstanding.

"The $4 million is already built into our budget," Kramer said. "It was just a matter of miscommunication."

But Dinse and other command members indicated they couldn't find the $4 million for volunteers anywhere in the budget.

"I'm only going on what I was told," Dinse said.

The issue has to be straightened out now that SLOC has agreed in the memorandum of understanding to fund any extra security costs for the Olympics.

That would include the $4 million if it turns out not to be in the budget.

The memorandum was temporarily derailed at December's meeting of the SLOC Management Committee over another issue, indemnification costs between the state and Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson originally wanted with the memorandum a letter clarifying that the city was not waiving its indemnification rights for costs other than regular public safety services during the Olympics.

House Speaker Marty Stephens, R-Farr West, opposed the letter, saying it would open up the state to unexpected costs.

The Salt Lake City Council re-approved the memorandum Jan. 2 without the accompanying letter. SLOC's management committee gave Bullock the authority to finalize the agreement.


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