Fees reduced to play sports in Warrington

Article from phillyburbs.com

Fees reduced to play sports in Warrington

Warrington supervisors agreed at their meeting Tuesday to substantially reduce the roster fee for children involved in township sports organizations.

The agreement means that Warrington sports programs will pay $22,600, instead of having to pay as much as $75,000, including tournament fees.

Before this year, there was no roster fee, said Brian Andrews, president of the Warrington Soccer Club.

The supervisors had set new fees of $10 for township residents participating in Warrington sports programs and $25 for nonresidents.

“We as a group with our organizations feel that’s a little excessive,” Andrews said, noting that the organizations are not averse to paying fees, and that the soccer club already pays fees to Warwick and Doylestown to use fields there.

The supervisors reduced the fee to $5 per player.

“We all recognize tough times in the township,” said Supervisor Chairman Gerald Anderson. “We don’t want to put anyone out of business.”

The board declined, however, to go along with the sports associations’ request for a five-year cap on fees, deciding it would review the issue every year.

There are about 4,500 children in soccer, softball, lacrosse, football, field hockey, youth baseball and Connie Mack baseball, with varying levels of resident and nonresident participation.

Just in soccer, Andrews said, there are 2,000 children, of which about 900 are residents.

Andrews said he was satisfied the supervisors were willing to negotiate the fee.

“We are OK with paying a fee,” he said, “but it just went to an exorbitant amount. It has to be fair.”

Some of the other sports representatives were not as content.

“This thing is a tax on kids,” said Michael Moser, who is vice president of the senior baseball club. “It’s a tyrannical government. The fact that they wanted to charge kids was absolutely crazy.”

A representative of the softball organization, who declined to give his name, said the teams “put a lot of money into our fields and our organizations and I don’t feel the township ought to be getting more out of us.”

Andrews said the organizations have contributed nearly $1.5 million in the past few years to maintaining and improving fields.

In addition to the roster fees, the supervisors agreed to allow the sports organizations to meter all of the electricity, lights and water they used, instead of charging a per-hour light fee or tournament fees.