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Pricey Cost to Play Forces Soccer League to Move

DREHER TOWNSHIP — The time to sign up for a kids’ soccer league in Wayne County is running out.

Some parents claim their kids won’t be playing though, thanks to what has amounted to a field of fees forcing the league to move its games a half-hour away.

The Wallenpaupack Youth Soccer League has played at Carlton Drake Memorial Park in Newfoundland free of charge for years.

Hundreds of kids will now have to play near Hawley which is an hour-long round trip. All because Dreher Township, which operates the park, wants to charge what some parents are calling outrageous fees.

The soccer fields are pretty quiet this time of year at the park in Newfoundland and it’s looking like they will stay quiet when the soccer season starts in August.

Parents of some kids in the Wallenpaupack Youth Soccer League are upset the games and even the practices will move to the Hawley area this year, some 30 minutes away.

“It’s sad, it’s sad for the kids, they’re the only ones who’ll truly be hurt at any of this,” said Jamie Kurilla.

Some of the soccer moms have had to tell their son or daughter that they won’t be playing this year. Dreher Township wants the league to pay $1,000 up-front plus weekly fees to play.

“No surrounding townships around here charge for using fields, or concessions or bathrooms,” said Sandy Olsommer.

A new building at Carlton Drake Memorial Park has concessions and bathrooms and was paid for with a state grant. Now township supervisors want to charge athletic groups to play at the park because the building is new. However, the Wallenpaupack Youth Soccer League won’t be playing at the park anytime soon.

“One township of a couple thousand people is paying for everyone to use the park. That’s fine, but now we have a method to make money,” said Dreher Township Supervisor Pete Pardi.

Pardi said fees paid to use the fields and the new concession stand will help pay for utilities and maintenance. But the township was footing the bill for all that before and parents can’t understand why a public park should be turned into a potential money-maker for the township.

“It’ll be empty, they can open it themselves, nobody here,” said Olsommer.

Already parents said they’re paying $65 to the league for their kids to play soccer.

If they agreed to pay to play at the park in Newfoundland the price tag could jump significantly.

Parents said even if their kids could practice at the fields in Carlton Drake Memorial Park, they wouldn’t mind traveling to Hawley for the games starting in August.

17 comments

  • Proud Sports Parent

    I wish I would win the lottery or find financial backers to open an indoor sports complex in Newfoundland.. It would give all the kids in the area a place to play sports all year round and not have to deal with Dreher township.. The location is perfect being 45 minutes from many populated areas.. It should be more about making the kids happy then making money!!!

  • Danielle

    I’m glad I don’t have to drive to Newfoundland for one.. But it’s still wrong to charge for that!!!!

  • Vote for me in the next election. You WILL know my name.

    Disgusting. My family helped start many of these children’s programs years ago.Time for new leadership in Newfoundland. If you don’t vote differently you have no right to complain.

  • marlene hollister

    Again whom are the supers? Someone that moved into the community? The government gives and the government takes. This grant mnoney should have to be paid back by the township officials if THEY THINK they are the owners of something that was really paid for by the people in taxes for the grant money. REALLY too much authority to the Supers of the township. Stop ruining the community and taking from the children for greed. Grow up . Did they pay to play when growing up? The park was donated right?

  • StarWriter

    Regardless if we can travel to Hawley for practice and games, we shouldn’t have to when there is a park right here in town that has been used for years. Additionally, it is not only young aspiring athletes that use the park, but it is open to the “public.” Maybe for some people the extra gas and time isn’t an issue, but for others it is. What else happens in Newfoundland–anything other than what goes on at the park?? and the fair one time a year. Seriously??? Speaking as a grant writer–grant funding is intended to benefit the community over-all, HOWEVER many grantors want to see a profit of some type in order for the grantee to receive money again for projects in the future. A reasonable agreement should be reached between the township and the athletic associations. Consider a portion of profit from the concessions stand–however NO charge for using the fields. The fields were there prior to the concession stand, and there is no reason to charge for them now.

  • MS

    Are people really complaining about traveling and the cost of league???The emphasis should be on the greedy township that is trying to benefit financially from something that was donated!!! They should be ashamed of themselves and I hope they are happy that those fields will be empty come soccer season. I for one am thrilled that soccer is moving to the North fields,there a lot more people this way then out there! Also it is $50 for the first child NOT $65,$40 for the second and $30 for the third.

  • Dana M.

    I agree that the township is wrong for charging the kids to use the fields. It is a shame that they will go empty this season! However, I don’t agree with all the complaints about the drive to the North campus. My kids have played soccer for 5 years now and I have made the hour long trip to South for practice and games. You just do it for your kids, there is no reason to complain about it.

  • anonymous

    It is a beautiful park, one of the things I love about living in Newfoundland and it is a shame that we will be unable to use it for soccer

  • anonymous

    What is failed to be mentioned is that these organizations that use the park have also put in time and money to maintain and keep these fields nice. That money is not given directly to the township but is put into the park. For example: paying for dirt for the baseball fields, helping to have a backstop rebuilt, benches that were donated for the walking trail, playground equipment, picnic benches for the concession stand. In other words it is not all on the township!

  • Matt

    What next? A toll booth to get to the playground? A ticket booth for the walking trail?
    State grant and taxes should more than cover the costs.
    And the “money maker” is the concession stand, paid for with a state grant.
    Just sounds like a back door for funds instead of a tax increase…which would not go over well for elected officials, now would it?
    I’m seeing an empty park in the future; no kids playing and laughing, no cheering parents, no one to use the new bathrooms or buy food from the concession stand.
    Doesn’t sound like a winning idea.
    I know some of these folks, and I am saddened by their choice here.

  • JamieK

    We wouldn’t (as parents) mind to play games at the north, or wherever, however this is all the south school had specifically and now we cannot even practice in our own park. There was a lot of emphasis in the report on the drive. We drive for everything,(softball games, cheerleading, clinics… all of which is hosted at the north) that isn’t the issue at point. It’s the fact that our kids are going to be charged to use our field, even just to practice… or for any recreational activity.

  • DT

    So now the fields will just sit empty? Who wins then? The North kids practice at the north fields, I have tried for a few years now to get a lil piece to practice up at the north end and it was a waste of the kids time… This really stinks, because the only one losing out are the kids.. I dont want to drive almost an hour round trip to practice, we want to keep our kids active through out the year and this isnt helping, we pay $65 to play, Take that money and pay the $1000 and get over it. This is for our kids, not us!

  • Delores S.

    The township is totally in the wrong, complain about that, fine. But the travel? Come on, Wallenpaupack is such a large district. There are a ton of kids who had to drive the hour plus round trip to get to Newfoundland for years now.

  • Peter Dutter

    DISGUSTING!!! The twp officials should be ashamed of themselves. Why do we pay taxes anyway? It just doesn’t seem right for the twp to have used state funds to pay for a park and then the twp turns around and charges the kids to use it.

  • Sandy Olsommer

    It should also be noted that some of the fields at the park are really the GDS Fair’s property (not the parks) that they are donating to the use of the kids. And they are paying for some of the electric that runs through there without asking for any payment (as they have for years). Furthermore, neighboring Greene Township donates money to Dreher Township specifically for the park.

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