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Garlic Festival gets big fee reduction for police services

In the end, Garden of Eve Organic Farm and Market didn’t have to pay a $4,489 fee for police to direct traffic at its annual Garlic Festival, which was held this past weekend. Instead, owner Eve Kaplan paid a $700 flat fee, according to town attorney Bob Kozakiewicz.

Ms. Kaplan said she was initially asked to pay $4,489 for police services for the event in 2015, even though she paid just $192 the year before and nothing at all for more than a decade before that.

Town officials had said the formula for determining how much to charge for police services depended on whether a traffic control officer or part-time police officer was available to direct traffic.

Mr. Kozakiewicz said a board majority eventually agreed on the $700 flat fee instead of using the formula. He also said the Town Board is considering changing the way it handles police fees for special events in the future. Last month the News-Review reported how town officials expressed frustration with the seemingly random process for calculating the fees.

Through a Freedom of Information request, Ms. Kaplan obtained a list of all special permit applications for 2015 in Riverhead Town. The results were varied. Click here to read more.