There’s always one house that outshines the others this time of year. And by outshine, we mean literally.
One man’s display is so eye-catching that the city isn’t happy with him, so his hometown is telling him to pay up or put the Christmas lights away, WABC reported.
Tom Apruzzi has lit up his property, and his entire neighborhood, for about 15 years.
Officials in Old Bridge aren’t happy with the display and have told him to pay $2,000 a day or pull the plug.
The ultimatum came after police in the town said they received complaints related to the light show of more than 70,000 lights. Most of the complaints were because of traffic, so now extra police need to be on duty to manage traffic on Central Avenue, WABC reported.
The town wants Apruzzi to pay the bill for the extra patrols.
Apruzzi said the fee is “bureaucratic baloney” and that his display is protected by the First Amendment.
According to the GoFundMe campaign, the city also is telling Apruzzi that he has to shuttle people into the neighborhood from their local school. The fundraiser page says that it will cost the family $1,000 a night for the shuttle.
Apruzzi, who starts setting up the display in September, said he’s invested about $100,000 to put it together over the years. Visitors can donate to help local causes. Last year, the money went to Homes for Our Troops, a nonprofit that builds homes for injured post-9/11 veterans, WABC reported.