|Posted by Anne Siren on November 13, 2012 at 12:15 AM|
Costs of football and cheerleading reduced
By Michael d’Oliveira
Pompano Beach – The cost of having fun is going up.
Commissioners recently approved an ordinance that would increase many of the fees associated with the city’s facilities and recreational programs.
The fee increases, recommended by city staff, don’t include youth tackle football and cheerleading which had their fees reduced to $50 per person. With over 725 boys and girls participating, tackle football and cheerleading is the most popular youth athletic program in the city. “It’s a huge program,” said Mark Beaudreau, recreation programs administrator.
Beaudreau said staff recommended the increase to create a “more equitable balance” between football and what is covered by other tax dollars.” The city spends $127,000 a year to pay for equipment, officials, travel and other expenses not covered by fees. He added that other cities in the county charge between 63 and 160 percent more for their programs.
Some fees in Pompano Beach have not changed since 1989.
Resident Joseph Wells asked commissioners to treat football the same as many other city programs. “We subsidize a lot of stuff in the city,” he said. According to last year’s city budget, after fees are subtracted, the city still spends about $80,000 on its tennis center. Recently, the city spent $148,000 to install an electronic scoreboard and timing system at its aquatics center.
The increases in fees include the cost of youth athletics programs, summer programs, lessons and use of the tennis center, city pool, baseball and softball fields, basketball courts and pavilions.
Those fees would be incrementally raised over the next two years.
Commissioners voted 4-1 to approve recreational fee increases and, in a separate vote, unanimously decided to reduce the fees for football and cheerleading.
Commissioner Barry Dockswell voted yes on the football and cheerleading decrease but no on the increases on other programs and facilities. He said that he preferred to offer discounts to families in financial need.
Vice Mayor George Brummer was against giving a discount to some families because he thought it would create and an “administrative monster.” He added that because of the injuries associated with tackle football, the city should be trying to de-emphasize participation in the sport. “But I don’t think price is the way to do it.”
The football fee decrease was recommended by Parks and Recreation Advisory Board members, who see the reduction as a way to keep youth involved in positive activities and off the street.
According to a study by Dr. Marianne Engle, sports psychologist and clinical assistant professor at the New York University’s Child Study Center, children who are involved in sports experience reduced anxiety and depression and increased self-esteem and psychological well-being.
“In sports kids find a social milieu that can promote a spirit of social interaction, cooperation and friendship” wrote Engle. She also found that sports help children improve academic performance. Commissioners will vote again on the increases on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. at city hall, 100 W. Atlantic Blvd.