Vernon's Funtastic Sports Society will be getting a little bit of help from the city, but not in the way it had hoped.
City council agreed Tuesday to not provide additional support for Funtastic that it had asked for. The group was hoping the city would reduce rental costs and increase baseball diamond maintenance.
According to a city report and recommendation, it currently provides “$13,000 in resources for the event which includes pre-event site cleanup, barricades, parking lot grading/dust control and permanent staffing of the washrooms for the duration of the event.”
Council passed a city recommendation advising not to give additional support, citing the precedent it would set for other community groups.
But it did pass a motion to give a bit of a break to the society.
Coun. Kari Gares said in recognition of how much economic stimulation the event brings to the city, council should waive a specific fee for this year only.
“I would like to make a motion that we direct administration to waive the 30-day field use cancellation notice and not charge the Funtastic Society for the diamonds that are not used. Just specifically during the Funtastic tournament,” said Gares.
Gares said the society supports the sports community greatly, handing out scholarships.
That was something Coun. Kelly Fehr said was proof the society shouldn’t be given a break on fees.
“If the organization is bringing in a surplus that they can give grants out, and scholarships – which is awesome – good for them to be able to do that,” said Fehr.
“I think that demonstrates that the taxpayer, specifically the non-baseball-playing taxpayers, don't need to subsidize.”
He also said he didn't feel comfortable favouring one group over another.
Coun. Brian Guy questioned why council should take responsibility for the society not being able to fill up its spots for the tournament.
Gares said the society has filled spaces successfully for the past 30 years, but there are concerns about being able to fill spots this year.
Coun. Teresa Durning agreed, saying the economic impact of the event on the city has been "significant."
The motion passed, with Guy and Fehr opposed.
If the Funtastic tournament doesn’t use all of the fields for its event this year and cancels within 30 days, the penalty fee will be waived.