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Youth football league's request to waive stadium, gate fees is voted down

June 26, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Citing scheduling issues and the precedent it might set, the Chambersburg School Board Wednesday voted down a request by the Chambersburg Youth Football League to waive Trojan Stadium rental and gate fees.

At a previous meeting, League President John Snider requested a waiver of the $1,000 rental fee and 10 percent of gate receipts the district charges for use of the stadium and its artificial turf field. The league, which includes the Chambersburg Steelers teams and cheerleader squads for children ages 5 to 13, originally wanted a five-year deal, but school board member David Sciamanna suggested at the earlier meeting it be limited to one year.

Had it been approved, the Steelers could have used the field for three Sundays this fall, but other local teams of the Keystone Youth Football and Cheerleading League -- the Scotland Broncos, Fayetteville Browns and Hamilton Jaguars -- have home fields, but would have gotten to play one home game at Trojan Stadium.

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KYFCL Vice President Alan Kline said teams would still pay other operational costs for using the field.

Snider said those would be $200 to $500 a game, depending on whether games were played under the lights.

The Steelers have been using the field at Faust Junior High School in recent seasons.

Parent Regina Williams said playing in the stadium would be "a dream come true" for the players, who will be the high school players of the future.

Board members were concerned other nonprofit groups would flood the district with waiver requests. Members also said that, while waivers have been granted to nonprofit groups for special events, it has not been done for regular events.

"We probably have hundreds of different youth teams in the area, all of which could make the same claims," board member Stanley Helman said.

"I think more than a money issue, it would become a scheduling nightmare," board member Lori Leedy said. Waiver requests might also be expected from groups wanting to use the new stage and gymnasium being added in the high school expansion project, said Board Vice President Renee Sharpe.

The board voted 4-3 to amend the motion from a five to a one-year deal, but Business Manager Rick Vensel reminded them that amending the board-approved fee schedule would require a two-thirds vote of the full board -- six votes.

It was not close, with the seven present members voting 5-2 against the motion. Board members Joseph Tosten, Sharpe, Helman, Rice and Leedy voted no with Ann Boryan and Sciamanna voting in favor.

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