MUNCY - It costs too much money to play football here.
That's what the Muncy Youth Football Association told the Muncy School Board Monday night about user fees that the organization is supposed to pay in order to use the district's football field and facilities.
John Larose, a board member with the football association, said he understands the school district's need to recoup some money from using its facilities, but he said $43 an hour during the course of a weekend afternoon of youth football is too pricey.
"It did catch us off guard a little bit. It was something we were not expecting," he said of the figure.
Larose asked the board for a waiver of fees, adding the organization would rather pay for upgraded equipment for kids instead of paying for someone to open and close the school stadium.
He said it would cost more than $800 for one home event, which would include the school's fees and referee costs.
"We just want to maintain this program," Larose said.
He said the organization has been able to stay afloat with fundraising activities and concession sales, but paying a school district user fee would be a budget killer.
Thomas Gardner, school board president, told Larose the fees originated from community input last year designed to help the district capture costs from non-school functions. He said the costs are for personnel only and do not cover field maintenance or electricity use.
Larose asked if board members of the organization, who also are paid district employees, could be used to provide manpower on a volunteer basis.
"I'd really hate to see us leave Muncy and play all our games away," he said, adding that the football field has been used for the youth program for more than 30 years.
Jeff Sampsell, another football association board member, said the East Lycoming School District has offered to take in Muncy's program at no cost.
"I don't think we're looking to chase anybody away," Gardner said.
Brian Krah, school board member, suggested the district's policy be reviewed. Gardner added that any policy change would have to include other organizations that use school facilities.
Board members agreed to suspend any fees until the district's athletic committee reviews the policy.