The Point Pleasant Beach Council has decided to raise Boardwalk amusement games fees and keep special event licensing fees the way they currently exist.
The council voted on two ordinances that were introduced at its last meeting in March and were up for second reading and adoption at Tuesday night's meeting.
The amusement games license fees ordinance was unanimously adopted by the council without much discussion.
A proposal to raise an additional $12,000 annually through increasing Boardwalk amusement game fees was voted down by the council last month, and a new ordinance that will raise $6,000 through games fees was introduced in its place and adopted on Tuesday night.
The ordinance that caused some controversy during the meeting was a special event licensing fee ordinance where Mayor Vincent Barrella and Councilman Mike Corbally clashed with representatives from Jenkinson's about which of its summer programs are considered "special events."
The fee would be $2,000 for a license per day for outdoor events that draw 200 people or more. That would be a $1,000 increase beyond what an existing ordinance requires. The original ordinance also required a license for events that draw 300 people or more.
The council members had previously voted to table the ordinance and discuss it further at Tuesday's meeting where it was rejected by a 3-1 vote with Corbally casting the lone affirmative vote. Councilmen Tim Lurie, Sean Hennessy and Jeff Dyer voted not to approve the ordinance.
Corbally has said that Jenkinson's has not been paying the $1,000 fee because it has never filled out applications for the license.
However, he also asked Edward McGlynn, an attorney for Jenkinson's, to begin filling out applications for licenses for 45 of their upcoming events.
At the request of Jenkinson's, police Chief Kevin O'Hara supplied the council and Jenkinson's with a list of specific spring and summer boardwalk events that require extra police coverage.
The list, which is also available to the public, has a total of about $20,000 in costs for police services for events, such as the Easter Egg Hunt, which was held on Palm Sunday, the Easter Sunday parade and the Memorial Day WPLJ concert.
The list also includes weekly summer events such as Wednesday night concerts; Thursday night fireworks; Big Joe Henry shows on Sundays and Radio Disney concerts.
The calculations were based on the number of officers needed, the hours required and a hourly pay rate of $11 for special police officers.
Ron Gasiorowski, an attorney for Jenkinson's, addressed the council and said he disagrees with some of the events on the chief's list being classified as "special events" that require a license fee. He said events like the Father Alphonse Concerts which are held at Jenkinson's in the summer are not special events.
"I feel we don't have to pay a licensing fee for them," Gasiorowski said.
He said the increased licensing fee would not be a fair thing for Jenkinson's and other organizations in town.
"This is a tax upon my client, and it will be resisted," Gasiorowski said.
Barrella said it is true that in the past Jenkinson's has not paid the licensing fees for such events, but that they should, similar to other organizations such as the Point Pleasant Beach Chamber of Commerce.
Gasiorowski argued that because Jenkinson's is an entertainment business, its events, such as the concerts, should not be considered special events because they have been held for years and are part of their regular business.
Dyer agreed with Gasiorowski and said raising the special event fees is not fair for businesses and organizations that wish to hold events on their own private property.
The council later voted to waive any fees, including police and boardwalk fees, for Jenkinson's Easter Egg Hunt and Easter Parade. Corbally was the only council member to vote against waiving the fees.
Barrella said Jenkinson's incurred a $440 bill for police fees which included eight officers who were on duty for five hours each during the Easter Egg Hunt.
Corbally said that in his meeting with Jenkinson's, he was told that the business would donate $40,000 to the special officers budget in Point Beach.
Gasiorowski said he wanted to clarify that this donation would not be made in lieu of dropping any fees incurred by Jenkinson's from its special events.
Barrella said he would be fine with a donation, but that it would not seem to be right to accept after the council chose to waive the fees.