Some of the cars taking part in the Senior Dream Cruise at the Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield, Wednesday August 15, 2012. About a 50 car parade circled the complex giving residents a close-up view of classic cars. (Oakland Press Photo By: Vaughn Gurganian)
From The Oakland Press
Most Woodward Dream Cruise cities pay thousands to host the event
While touted as a free event for visitors, the 18-mile Woodward Dream Cruise from Pontiac to Ferndale — set for Saturday — impacts the budgets of most of the nine host communities along the Woodward Avenue route.
Costs range from police patrol to public works cleanup. Police close Woodward Avenue at 9 p.m. Saturday, directing traffic to side streets until all traffic has cleared.
Cities do receive some reimbursement from the Woodward Dream Cruise board, said Dream Cruise President Greg Rassel. Each city is paid $5,000 for its police, fire and clean-up work.
Cities generate additional funds through direct merchandise sales, local sponsorships they sell and renting out public property for parking, Rassel pointed out.
Berkley estimates $18,000 in overtime and extra equipment brought in is spent on the cruise, said Public Safety Deputy Chief Bob North.
Police are visible. North did not elaborate on the number of police citations issued that day, saying that his department maintains “zero tolerance for open alcohol consumption during the cruise,” he said.
“Alcohol is only permitted in licensed establishments,” he said.
People must also obey the rules of the road, he added.
Birmingham spent nearly $34,000 last year for police, event insurance and public works cleanup for the activities that take place downtown, said John Heiney, executive director of the city’s Principal Shopping District division.
Jay Cravens, Bloomfield Hills city manager, said the city doesn’t incur overtime to handle Dream Cruise activities.
“Activities associated with the cruise are handled as a matter of routine through the cruise week,” said Cravens.
“We do not bring in any (police) reserves or volunteers either.”
Bloomfield Township Chief Kirt Bowden said for the first few years, the township “really increased manpower because it was unknown how many problems would occur.
Since then the cruise has proven to be virtually “crime free,” he said, with very few problems in the township.
“This has allowed us to lower manpower and merely adjust officers’ schedules, rather than pay overtime,” Bowden said.
“Officers are assigned strictly to the cruise, in addition to the usual road patrols.”
Ferndale Police Chief Tim Collins budgets $10,000 for overtime for the event.
“We bring in about 20 reserve officers,” he said.
The city also receives assistance from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and Detroit Police reserves. The reserves are unpaid, Collins said.
Huntington Woods said the city pays about $6,000 on additional police patrol expenses.
“It is very inexpensive for us,” said Tony Lehmann, finance director.
Pleasant Ridge doesn’t participate in any activities due to the cost of hosting an event, said City Manager Sherry Ball.
“The police work a regular schedule and there is no overtime,” she said. “Our officers on duty assist Royal Oak at the 10 Mile and I-696 intersection, but that is the extent of our participation. The city incurs no additional costs during the cruise.”
The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office — which handles policing for Pontiac — spent $16,115 last year in overtime costs for deputies assigned to the Dream Cruise. The office had 30 reserve deputies assigned to the detail at no cost to the department.
Royal Oak’s City Manager Donald Johnson said last year’s costs for Saturday alone were $104,000.
“The revenue we brought in totaled $76,000, so our net cost was $28,000,” he said.
Show off your classic car at theoaklandpress.com and your photo may be selected for use in the print edition. The Oakland Press is seeking photos of classic cars at cruise events throughout the season. There are several ways to submit photos — email them to email@example.com with CruisinOC in the subject line, Tweet your pics to @TheOaklandPress with the hashtag #CruisinOC or upload from the gallery page at bit.ly/CruisinOC. Include any other information you can — your full name, the make and model of your classic car and community you reside in.
Contact Carol Hopkins at 248-745-4645 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @OPCarolHopkins or on Facebook @OPcarolhopkins.
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Provided by The News Herald