New participant charge proposed as Clay County reconsiders lease agreements with youth sports activities leagues
Ton County, Fla. – Clay County officials are sidelined over a proposal to fund parks and recreational programs.
Current field leases for youth sports leagues are expiring in Clay County, and a proposal was made last week to replace the current structure, where leagues pay $ 1 per lease with a new fee – $ 20 per child – above the current fee goes beyond registration fees that most leagues already charge.
Keystone Youth Soccer Club president Trevor Waters told News4Jax that the proposed per-child fee would cripple in Keystone Heights, where he says its players come from less affluent families than elsewhere in the county.
“The parents cannot afford it because it is a rural area. It’s a low income area, ”he said.
Some parents, such as Logan Gurley, were surprised to learn of the proposal.
“I don’t think they should,” Gurley said. “When I was doing sports with the Orange Park Athletic Association (OPAA) as a kid, I don’t remember any fees being added.”
District workers still say rental agreements need to be improved – not just for budgetary reasons – but also to better manage the use of district fields.
But this idea looks like it will be sent back to the drawing board after Clay County’s agent Besty Condon rejected the proposal at the last meeting of the commission.
“With your current proposal, you are giving the Keystone Heights families 42% of the income they need to give to the county so their little girls and boys can play soccer. And for baseball, softball, t-ball, soccer and cheering, that’s 24% of their earnings, ”said Condon. “This is your hard earned money.”
It is unclear what the district leaders will do and whether the proposed per player fee will be introduced. The Clay County Board of County Commissioners filed this issue by the end of the baseball season, probably in late June. Until then, the commissioners are still looking for contributions from sports leagues and parents.
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