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4th of July Event Overtime Costs: Who Should Pay?

Committee chairman feels township should pick up police, DPW costs for community event.

Many residents spend much of the year looking forward to the three-day the township hosts and, according to the committee that hosts the event, will be able to look forward to it again next year. But one detail still has yet to be ironed out before that is guaranteed: who will pick up the tab for the and Department of Public Works (DPW) overtime costs.

For many years, a group of volunteers have worked together with township employees under the umbrella of the Montville Township July 4th Committee to organize the events that make up the township's celebration of the Fourth of July. Irwin Paster, the committee chairman, said each year for the past 12 years has begun with an official sponsor, this year Lakeland Bank, donating $15,000 and then committee members fundraising to be able to cover the additional costs needed for carnival rides, fireworks and more.

Several Patch readers questioned whether the celebration, or parts of it, would be canceled next year. Paster said they will not.

"I think we will have a big event [again] next year," he said.

Readers' concerns stem from what Paster described as an ongoing debate between the July 4th Committee and Montville Township Committee on who should cover the costs of the overtime for police officers, who assist with traffic at the event, and DPW workers. Township Administrator Victor Canning said he did not have the exact cost figures for this year's event, but explained the overtime costs from the event last year.

"For 2011, the DPW’s actual [overtime] costs were $11,328, which were estimated this year to be $7,700; police department’s actual [overtime] costs were $28,500, which were estimated this year to be $23,779," he said.

Paster said he feels that it is reasonable that the township covers these costs because of the nature of the event.

"It's a cost, but it's also a township function and if it is a township event they should pay for the police," he said.

The township committee and 4th of July Committee also  on who should pay these costs, with the township committee ultimately agreeing to pay.

Last year, Paster said of whether , would be necessary for the celebration but the July 4th Committee and township committee felt that it was and chose to continue to include the event.

"The parade is important, it kicks off the whole day," he said.

The length of the event, three days, is also something expected to continue, as it has for the past 12 years, Paster said.

"The committee goes way back, it's only the past 12 years that we've really expanded show," he said.

What do you think? Should the July 4th Committee pay for the police and DPW overtime costs or the township? Participate in our poll below and leave your thoughts in the comments.

Truscha Quatrone July 07, 2012 at 03:22 PM
In 2011 there was a $41,628 profit off rides. The issue is if you are not filing 990 reports you are required to pay tax on the money your fund raise. If you are not paying the tax then you are breaking the law. Providing a financial statement to the TC committee is a requirement of the township. Filing a 990 form is a legal requirement to keep 501. C status.
john rosellini July 08, 2012 at 04:36 AM
Everyone is asking good questions , having served on the fourth of July committee for many years, I can tell you that these are a group of hard working volunteers working for 12 months to put this event together. As far as the parking money goes, that is topically has been split with the groups collecting it such as montville baseball softball etc. as far as ride profits...where do you think the $25000 comes from for the fireworks, or the $6000 for the parade? Don't ruin a great township event with politics. Finally, thank you every member of the 2012 fourth of July committee . Great job
Gary Lewis July 10, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Well said, John......I am tiring of people attacking Montville's volunteers in the name of self-righteousness and 'transparency'. No one argues that laws have to be followed, but these folks are not entitled to tear down our traditions and the good people who volunteer their time to preserve them. If Mr. Paster says the show will go on, and our committemen (and woman) continue to support the event, then case closed and see you all next year! Gary Lewis
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Rev. Rich February 20, 2013 at 03:11 PM
You took the words right out of me. I was thinking the same thing, where is all the money going $10 per car in all the parking areas around the school?

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