Chesterfield County $5 sports fee increase

By Evrod Cassimy - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Sports teams in Chesterfield County will likely not have to pay more as the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission has found a way to come up with half of the money they need to balance their budget.

"Our little league runs on a shoestring as all little leagues do. So we're calling on people to pay more money and we're calling on people to do more work and at some point they're going to start saying no," said Sam Abrash.

They were looking at a $5.00 increase that would go in part to make up for the $150,000 shortfall in the commissions sports budget. The extra money would also help cover the $1.6 million shortfall in the Parks and Recs overall budget shortfall. Some didn't think that was fair.

"You add that on top our costs that $5.00 could make or break some of these folks. It could be pretty expensive," said Allen Harlow, Chesterfield Senior Softball Association.

Some who play these sports already struggle to pay the fees associated with participating in the county sports program. Their other problem with the proposed $5.00 increase is that the money wouldn't stay within their program.

"This so called fee wouldn't go to support the programs that are being charged the fee it would go to support other programs. If they want to raise $150,000 to support other programs why don't they charge those programs directly?" asked Abrash.

Thursday night the board with the help from those who spoke out was able to come up with $75,000 by cutting from other programs. They're hoping to make up the other $75,000 by asking the county for help.

Part of the way they'll come up with some of the needed money is to charge for free programs Parks and Recs offers. The county will look at this suggestion mid April.

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