OLD BRIDGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A holiday light show has turned into a full-on light fight in New Jersey.
As CBS2 previously reported, a family in Old Bridge is being asked to pay $2,000 a day for security to manage the crowds from near and far who show up at their doorstep every December to take in their impressive spread.
“We’re getting a lot of support from the neighbors and from the public,” homeowner Tom Apruzzi said.
This year, every flashing light comes with a hue of defiance. Township police are stationed down the block at the cost of thousands of bucks a day — mostly for overtime. Mayor Owen Henry made the call to help manage the growing crowds.
“Last year there were a couple of nights where this area was gridlocked,” he said. “It was cut off from the rest of the town.”
Cones give visitors a safe place to walk, and parking is coordinated off the block to prevent backups and frustrated neighbors.
But at the end of the day, who will pay for the increased security.
“Right now we’re taking it out of our police budget but that’s going to have to be replenished,” Henry said.
The mayor says the code would make the Apruzzi family responsible for the difference.
Tom says there’s no way he’s footing the bill, and Councilman Mark Razzoli stands firmly behind him. Still, that doesn’t solve the discrepancy.
“The police department’s job is public safety, let them handle it,” Razzoli said. “If there’s any problems as far as budgeting let them bring it to the council. At the end of the day, the mayor made this decision.”
The finger pointing almost threatened the annual tradition. Apruzzi says he may change it, but he has no plans to scrap it altogether. He says he’s been getting offers to take his light show to a bigger location to create a drive-thru.
Mayor Henry says the town council will ultimately have to decide how to pay for the security.