Councillors divided on raising sports field fees
City councillor Terry Kett denounces 'right wing' stance on fees
Posted: Nov 14, 2012 1:05 PM ET
Last Updated: Nov 14, 2012 2:03 PM ET
Sudbury’s auditor general says baseball and soccer fields could become a major cost for the city in the near future — setting the stage for a possible increase in fees paid by local sports leagues.
A report from the auditor general warns that the fees currently only cover about 11 per cent of the cost of maintaining the fields. User fees for everything from swimming pools to cemeteries currently go up by an automatic three per cent each year.
The report doesn’t directly recommend raising fees, but city councillor Dave Kilgour says a hike should be considered, especially if the city wants to bring in more tournaments and major sporting events.
"Do they come here because we have the cheapest rates, or do they come because we have the best fields?” said Kilgour.
Others insist sports fields are a public service like libraries and transit, and don't need to break even.
City councillor Terry Kett dismisses the report as "right wing" and "conservative" — and fears a fee hike could leave some Sudburians on the sidelines.
Kett notes he was able to play hockey, football and other sports as a boy despite being from a poor family.
“My parents could afford it. And I thank the people of this city for it.”
City councillors didn't want to adopt the audit report, worrying it would set a new policy, and instead voted to "receive" it as information to guide future decisions.
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