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Commission made correct decision on soccer fee

Where we stand

June 16, 2012
The Mining Journal

Although the monetary impact of a Marquette City Commission decision this week was relatively small, the issue at hand carried much more social importance.

The action came on a vote to rescind an increase in the city's youth sports fee that had been approved for the 2013 sports season.

An increase from $60 per team to $115 per team was approved during the budget process. Urging commissioners to reconsider the increase were officials with the Superiorland Soccer Association, who said the increase could be tough on the league.

That hardship could come because of the more than doubling of kids this year who were provided with scholarships to play for free or at a reduced rate because of their financial status.

SSA officials also pointed out the value of youth sports and how the city should support the programs while not necessarily making them self-sufficient.

In addition, it was also said by soccer association and city officials how much work the soccer league - as well as other youth sports groups who use the city's Kaufman Sports Complex - have pitched in to make the venue a much better place for hosting sports.

Included were major efforts by the soccer league to raise funds and work on projects at the complex such as the restrooms and concession areas, as well as working on the fields themselves.

The impact on the city budget will be a reduction of about $3,600 in revenues that would have come from the increased fees. One city commissioner said by rescinding the fee the commission could be setting a bad precedence and could create problems.

However, the mayor pointed out that prior to the discussion on the fees, the commission approved $484,000 in bills payable and $342,000 for sewer work - both without any discussion, adding "and we're sitting here wrangling over $3,600 for kids?"

In the end the kids won out by having a slightly lower fee, which they deserve, and the city will remain a partner with the hundreds of local kids and their parents who are working hard to make Marquette a better place to live.



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