Our opinion: Consider all option for events

Youngsville officials are right – borough taxpayers shouldn’t have taxpayer dollars paying for security for private events.

That’s particularly true if that event doesn’t result in much spin-off business for shops in the borough.

The issue came up during a recent discussion of a Ribfest event at Island Park that includes a car cruise-in. The borough paid roughly $1,600 in overtime for the police department in 2023, but event organizers are only paying about $500 for security for this year’s event. That means borough residents are paying about $1,100 to Youngsville police officers to be stationed at the event this year.

That shouldn’t happen.

But the discussion over removing overtime for the borough police department to cover events should include more options than event organizers simply writing a check to cover overtime. The events committee broached by Borough Councilman Troy Clauson is a good start, as is a form that has to be signed off on by the police and fire departments before events are approved.

Part of that process, in our view, should be approval for security – whether it’s paying the cost for police officers to attend an event or the cost for private security who can then work with regularly scheduled officers if the police are needed.

Borough officials say there haven’t been major issues with the cruise-in and rib event in the past.

While it’s important to plan for worst-case scenarios, borough officials also have to be careful not to increase event costs to the point event organizers can’t afford to put on the types of events that bring vitality and visitors to Youngsville.

This is a good time to consider options that protect taxpayers but don’t put too many restrictions on event organizers.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today