Jenkinson's should not have to pay special event fees for events held on its own property or for events that it offers as part of its entertainment business, corporate officials said on Wednesday.
Edward McGlynn, Jenkinson's attorney, said in an email on Wednesday, "I have advised my client the referenced ordinance is not applicable to their business as all of Jenkinson's activities are in the normal course of business.
"Further these activities have and do go on annually," McGlynn said. "This is the first year the Borough has attempted to have this ordinance made applicable to Jenkinson's."
He later clarified that by "annual" he meant events that are offered each summer.
"These are all ongoing beach-related activities," he said.
Marilou Halvorsen, Marketing Director for Jenkinson's Boardwalk, also said, "This issue has never been raised before this year and we've been holding these events for years."
She also said the company should not have to pay fees for events held on its beach, which include Thursday night fireworks and Wednesday night concerts during the summer among other events.
Jenkinson's owns the beach, but the town owns most of the boardwalk, even though the company name is "Jenkinson's Boardwalk."
The Borough Council had voted earlier this year to exempt Jenkinson's from paying the special event fee for the Easter parade, which is held on the boardwalk.
Patch asked Jenkinson's for a response to the Tuesday night Borough Council vote to take legal action against Jenkinson's to try to recoup $28,202 in special event fees incurred this summer and to help set the stage to more easily collect the fees in future years.
Council President Tim Lurie voted no, saying that the council should first find out if it has a viable legal case, exactly how much it will cost in legal fees and how and where any legal action would be taken, before taking a vote to initiate legal action.
Council members Kristine Tooker and Michael Corbally voted yes.
Council member Jeff Dyer recused himself because his company does business with Jenkinson's. But he did say he thought the town should first find out if it has a case before taking any legal action.
Council members Sean Hennessy and Frank Rizzo were absent.
Municipal Clerk Maryann Ellsworth had said in a recent email that she had billed Jenkinson's $28,202.75 for their Music Fest, Fireworks, and Big Joe Henry shows during the summer.
"These are the events that require additional police services," she had wrote in an Oct. 11 email. The bill has not been paid, she said.
When asked if any compromise could possibly be reached, with any portion of the overdue fees paid, Halvorsen said, "That's now in the hands of the attorneys.When you say you're suing, then it's in the hands of the attorneys and the judge."
The Point Pleasant Beach Chamber of Commerce has always paid special event fees for police services during such events as Festival of the Sea held every September and also pays off-duty public works employees directly for maintenance and clean-up services for that festival.
So, many have questioned why the chamber has to pay, but not Jenkinson's.
When asked about that, Halvorsen said, "I don't disagree about the chamber. I don't know that they should have to pay that fee when they have those events, because they are holding them in the normal course of business, which is to bring more business into the town."
She said that one possible distinction is that the chamber holds the seafood festival on public streets, while Jenkinson's holds most of its events on its own property, frequently on the beach.
Halvorsen also noted that at the recent candidates' debate, "There was talk about possibly rewriting part of the special events ordinance."
She also noted that Jenkinson's had offered to make a donation of about $40,000 to help cover police expenses this year in District 4.
"That has nothing to do with the special event fees," she said. "We were told that it was not accepted."