Councilman Mike DeFusco is sponsoring sweeping legislation that will establish a better system to manage pub crawls and create additional oversight when these events come to Hoboken. As part of the ordinance that will be introduced during Wednesday night’s City Council meeting, participating bars and businesses will be required to pay an application and permit fee. The revenue generated through this process will be used to directly offset the skyrocketing costs of public safety enforcement and environmental cleanup associated with holiday pub crawls.
Additionally, the ordinance would allow bar owners to utilize their outdoor cafe space during certain hours on pub crawl days, which allows for them to responsibly serve more patrons and offset the costs of the permit.
“Holiday pub crawls have long been a nuisance to the quality of life in my downtown neighborhood,” said Councilman Mike DeFusco. “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. 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.”
Councilman DeFusco first proposed legislation that would regulate pub crawls following last year’s LepreCon, which resulted in six arrests, 12 tickets and 322 calls for emergency services. Despite receiving initial support from the City Council and the approval of residents most directly impacted by pub crawls, the measure was stalled by the administration to push their own political agenda. Since last year’s LepreCon, two additional pub holiday pub crawls have taken place in Hoboken, putting taxpayers on the hook for upwards of $200,000 in additional security and cleanup costs.