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Board lowers rental fees for baseball fields

clip_image002_027After listening to several coaches and parents involved with local baseball and softball leagues speak against field rental fees Monday night, the Collierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen decided to implement a fee reduction.

Last July, the board changed a policy to allow competitive baseball and softball teams to use the town’s fields. A team with at least 70 percent of its players hailing from Collierville was given permission to rent a field for practice. Teams comprised of 70-percent town residents pay $75 for an hour and a half. Teams with 90 percent pay $50.

“Since the July meeting,” said Chip Petersen, director of the town’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department, “there has been a lot of discussion by both baseball and softball coaches concerning the amount of rental fees.”

Petersen said the town initially considered charging a one-time registration fee for each player instead of making teams pay the rental fee.

“However,” Petersen said, “it would not be fair due to the fact that every team eligible would pay the same fee.We can’t guarantee all teams the same number of practices.”

Noting that it costs the town around $27.50 a day to prepare a single baseball field, Petersen recommended that the board reduce the rental fees to $35 for teams with 70-percent local players and $25 for those with 90 percent.

“It is important to remember that the primary reason for the change in policy (last July) was to allow as many Collierville children as possible to utilize Collierville fields, as opposed to one group…as in the past few years.”

The board will look at the issue again in two weeks after the Parks Advisory Board researches the costs.

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