Youth Soccer Club: $80K Fee Unfair | Athletic Business

Youth Soccer Club: $80K Fee Unfair

The Urbandale (Iowa) Parks and Recreation Commission is recommending its local sports clubs split the cost of improvements made to the sports facilities used by the groups, a plan that doesn’t sit well with one of the four clubs.

Under the proposal, four youth sports groups that use two sports facilities owned by the city — the Urbandale Soccer Club, Urbandale Girls Recreation Association, Urbandale Sports Association and the J-Hawk Soccer Club — would each pay $80,000 toward the $1.4 million bill for paving parking lots at the facilities in 2011 and 2015.

The J-Hawks say splitting the cost is unfair. The league, formed in 2010 as a low-cost alternative for recreational soccer, has 425 members. The Urbandale Soccer Club has 800 members and uses more fields, the J-Hawks contest.

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"I’d say we’re equally shocked and, frankly, many of us outraged by the lack of consideration the city’s giving to the good work that’s been done in the community through the volunteers of our club," J-Hawks president Matt Carver told The Des Moines Register.

The Urbandale Soccer Club was originally asked to pay $212,000 for one of the parking lots in 2012 before the city decided to split the cost between the groups. The club raised its participation fees in response.

"If you break it out per player per season, it works out to be between $4 and $5 per player," Fageroos said. "For us, we felt while yes, $80,000 is a lot, it’s a lot less than $212,000." The other groups expect they will have to raise fees to cover the cost as well. Aside from the cost of paving the parking lots, the sports groups do not pay for the use of the fields but are responsible for their maintenance.

"Some people feel it should be a lot more than $80,000. Some in the clubs feel it should be a lot less," parks and recreation director Jan Herke said. "We’re not going to please everybody."

The proposal will be put to vote by the Urbandale City Council on June 21.

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