POUND RIDGE, N.Y. -- Starting next year, non-residents will be charged if they want to view Pound Ridge's annual Fourth of July fireworks display.
The town board voted recently to institute the fee, which will be $30 per vehicle.
The goal is both to defray the event's cost and to reduce attendance, according to Councilwoman Bonnie Schwartz, who gave an overview of the legislation at the meeting.
The fee is expected to generate between $7,000 to $9,000.
The cost of a fireworks contractor is roughly $7,500, Steve Conti, the town's director of finance said. When factoring in overtime for police and maintenance staff, the total cost is roughly $25,000. However, compensation for workers also covers a 5K road race held earlier in the day, Conti added.
The crowded nature of the event was also cited as a concern by town officials. Police Chief David Ryan cited a figure of a little more than 200 cars that were from out of state. The figure does not include New York State residents who are from out of town.
“Everything can’t be for free all the time,” Ryan said about adding a fee.
Two of Pound Ridge's neighboring towns, Lewisboro and New Canaan, also have fees, it was noted.
The plan would be to collect the fee when vehicles park at Pound Ridge Elementary School, according to Ryan.
One exception to the fee, however, is if a resident is bringing people who are non-residents as visitors.
Those who have homes in Pound Ridge but whose connections are not reflected on their identification, such as a house with another town's postal address or second-home owners, need not worry, either. Ryan noted that whoever it is will be given the “benefit of the doubt.”