Commonwealth Journal

February 21, 2013

Alcohol revenue allows council to lower youth soccer fees

by Heather Tomlinson
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —  

City officials, in keeping with their promise to use alcohol sales revenue for community-oriented programs, announced that youth soccer fees are being lowered dramatically.
“When (alcohol sales were legalized) we talked about helping kids and doing everything we can to get kids involved in programs and keep them off of drugs,” said Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler during last week’s Somerset City Council meeting, “... and create a wholesome environment.”
The city’s soccer program, which is nearing its 30th year, is open to all children ages three to 12 and features fall and spring seasons. The fee, up until now, had been $50 for one child and $30 for a second.
Now, thanks to a flood of revenue the city is seeing due to alcohol sales (voters in June decided to make the city officially “wet”), those fees — no doubt a bit steep for some families — have been slashed.
Families can now expect to pay $20 for the first child, and $10 for any siblings. The fee includes a team shirt, and one team and one individual photo. Additional photos and soccer equipment must be purchased by the families. 
“City council is following through with a commitment to have more kids involved, to lower the costs to families ... and actually make it affordable,” Girdler said.
The city also has a waiver program for families that can’t afford the fees. 
Councilor Jerry Wheeldon said parks and recreation has already seen a marked increase in participants this year. 
“Last year, we had around 400 ... this year, it’s 600 or 700,” said Wheeldon. “I don’t know what we’re going to do but we need to be looking at some way to expand a little bit.”
Currently, the city’s youth soccer games are played at SomerSport Park located just off East Ky. 80 on Pumphouse Road. 
Girdler said the city is looking into creating a practice soccer field in the Huffaker Avenue area. 
“We wanted to tell people about it because city council has made a commitment ... all the funding, all the money comes through the city council,” Girdler said. 
Parents can contact the Parks and Recreation Department at Rocky Hollow Park at 679-1860 to sign their children up.
In other news from the Monday, Feb. 11 City Council meeting: 
• Jerry Burnett said South Richardson Drive has several places where the blacktop is broken and asked that the city repair those spots. 
• City council discussed widening the access road to the city’s water plant on Old Monticello Road.
• Councilor Jim Mitchell asked about the city’s sign ordinance and said he’d received a phone call about a local business putting “home-made” signs up in town. 
Girdler said he would look into the situation and getting the signs removed should they be in violation of the ordinance. 
• Girdler announced that the city’s 2012 audit was completed and he said it would be presented at the next council meeting.
• The council voted to re-appoint Art Boone as the Housing Authority Commis-sioner.