Photo: Kevin Reid / Getty Images
Every year for the last 15 years homeowner Tom Apruzzi puts up a massive 70,000-Christmas light display. The show includes music and an automated display, attracting up to 1,000 people per night.
Though the 12-minute show is free to the public Apruzzi collects donations from visitors and in the past he's raised approximately $8,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and $13,000 for Homes For Our Troops.
But now township officials want Apruzzi to pay $2,000 a night for police security at his home's light show, citing crowd control concerns. The money will reportedly cover the cost of officers overtime for the evening, moveable light posts, and fuel for the light posts. The cost is so high that a GoFundMe has been created to help Apruzzi cover the fees.
While I see the need for safety precautions, $2,000 a day is obscene! Why can't the town come up with a cheaper option? In the past auxiliary police officers, untrained in crowd control, reportedly patrolled the area free of charge.
There needs to be some sort of compromise here rather than flat out charging a homeowner who has collected thousands for charities and puts smiles on hundreds of people's faces every year.
Read the NJ.com story here.