The West Richland City Council has now decided that residents should “pay to play” in the parks. On Sept. 1, they passed a resolution that will increase the fees for local youth to use the sports fields from $0 to $5 per hour for each field.
The council’s reasoning was that is what it will cost to administer the fields. Really? $5 per hour to reserve a field seems like a lot of money to me.
Long-term partners like the Greater Richland Little League and West Richland citizens who invested hundreds of thousands of dollars and man-hours to build the baseball fields and facilities at Bombing Range Sports Complex are now being told they are now “renters” and no longer “partners” with the city. They can get in line to use the fields just like everyone else and pay the $5 per hour fee.
Youth football has already left West Richland. Youth baseball and soccer are already exploring other options and not far behind.
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Council Members Benegas, Buel, Brown and Perkes need to rethink their vote on this really bad idea.