Franklin County parents balk at increase in athletic fees
Posted January 27, 2009 5:33 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT
Louisburg, N.C. — Louisburg leaders, looking to raise revenues, have increased recreation fees for county residents who play in town sports leagues from $40 to $150.
Parents say the rising price means their young athletes will not be able to participate in popular programs.
Erin Kelley said her daughter, Madison, plays youth league basketball sponsored by Louisburg Parks and Recreation, in part, because the entry fee is inexpensive.
"Well, I guess we're not playing Louisburg sports anymore," Kelley said in considering the new fee.
"There will be a lot of kids that won't be able to play," Eugene Yarborough added.
Louisburg Mayor Karl Pernell noted that sports programs cost the town $194,000 per year.
"Seventy-five percent of the participants belong in the county or live in the county," he said. "We just felt like they need to pay their portion."
Town leaders asked the county commission for $133,000 to offset the costs, but so far, the county has not contributed any money.
Robert Lee Swanson, chairman of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, said Louisburg was too quick to raise fees to an "excessive" level.
"I'm not happy at all, and none of the board of commissioners are happy about it," he said.
He said that when county and town leaders get together to discuss the request, he will suggest that county residents pay the same fee that city residents do, $20.