DeFusco to introduce measure to make permit fees for Hoboken bar crawls mandatory

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Hoboken 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco is introducing a measure at tomorrow evening’s council meeting that would make application and permit fees mandatory for pub bar crawls.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Holiday pub crawls have long been a nuisance to the quality of life in my downtown neighborhood. While we cannot limit a person’s right to visit multiple bars in celebration of a holiday, we as a city cannot afford to foot the bill for additional safety and cleanup costs, especially as this administration continues to overspend and put Hoboken in a multi-million financial deficit,” DeFusco said in a statement.

“Introducing a commonsense permitting process will ensure the city recoups some of the operational costs for pub crawls. Many of Hoboken’s bar owners rely on high traffic days to meet their bottom line for the year and this proposed legislation will incentivize owners and help them, succeed while not over burdening taxpayers.”

Specifically, the local legislation would require organizers of events like Santacon or Leprecon to pay a $200 application fee, with a $3,000 cost for each individual bar or eatery that decides to participate.

Bar crawls are a longstanding issue in Hoboken, as residents have often complained about how the events not only infringe upon their quality of life, but also end up forcing them to open up their wallet.

After the most recent SantaCon in December, Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante said the amount of overtime spent on Hoboken police, along with reinforcements from Union City, will cost around $75,000.

On this particular ordinance, Ferrante, also a member of the city’s Public Safety Task Force, said in his own statement that neither he or the department’s Alcohol Beverage Control investigators have had a chance to read it yet.

With that in mind, he said that he is open to any initiatives that will help alleviate the issues created by bar crawls.

“We will always deploy personnel based on data analysis, just like we do for all “Con” events and any other large annual events,” he began.

“I appreciate and welcome any ordinance that can continue to help us curb SantaCon or any other events that bring outside promoters who make money by advertising Con events as charitable events, where we never hear what was collected and donated to charities.”

In March, shortly after Leprecon, DeFusco introduced a similar ordinance that would have created a city fund for public safety and clean up costs related to bar crawls, but it never came to a vote.