Statement from the Centennial Little League Board of Directors regarding the City of Calgary Permit Rate Increase
Good Morning T-Ball and Baseball Families!
The Board of Directors for Centennial Little League wanted to bring forth an issue which has come to light in the last few days - and more importantly how it will affect your child's access to playing Baseball or T-ball.
On January 18th the City of Calgary informed all sports groups that our use permits for our baseball diamonds (and soccer fields, etc..) would be increasing from $2.50 per permit hour to $4.00 per permit hour effective immediately. This $1.50 per hour increase is a 60% increase in our Permit rate. At the same time as the Youth Permit rate is increasing - the Adult Rate will also be increasing from $22.54 to $22.99 per hour (a $0.45 or 2% Fee increase.) We have some serious concerns on why the vast preponderance of the rate increase is being unfairly leveled at youth sport. We feel BOTH groups should be fielding that same amount of increase equally and fairly.
In general Centennial Little League does not have a major concern with the Rate Increase (other than being forced into an unfair portion of that increase compared to Adults for the same space) - Rates in the City of Calgary have been low for some time. Our biggest concern is that this last minute announcement with no notice creates a major budget issue for our organization and others like us.
To understand the scope of this issue - this “modest” increase (as the City calls it) will create approximately a $20,000 hole in our budget for the 2023 season that is not accounted for. As an organization, we have already set our rates for the 2023 season and have no mechanism to be able to adjust our rates to accommodate this cost increase. This increase is equivalent to about a $35 to $40 per kid cost.
Over the years Centennial Little League has been financially responsible and ensured we have funds in reserves for emergencies - and these funds could definitely be put towards these additional costs if absolutely necessary. However these funds were meant for actual emergencies - not City bureaucratic incompetencies. Utilizing our reserve funds for this would eventually put our Association at greater financial risk in the long term should an actual emergency occur where we needed funds.
Additionally we do not feel it is fair, or right for that matter, to come back to our parents and ask for additional fees after the fact. We have all budgeted for our households to provide for our kids to play. None of us should be forced to have our pockets picked because our Government is unfairly punishing us due to their inability to be responsible and ethical stewards.
We have reached out to our City Councillors Jasmine Mian and Raj Dhaliwal. Councillor Mian's'office has indicated that they will look into the problem and see if there are any solutions. I do feel confident we will hear more from them - but considerably less confident that they will do anything regarding this in the short term.
What Can We Do?
This email isn't just about complaining about unfair cost increases or questionable timing on announcing these increases, but also about putting options out there to help address the challenge collectively as a group.
First off - please reach out to our City Councillors and let them know you are unhappy with the underhanded methods of implementing this price increase. In general we are not against a rate increase, we are understanding that costs have gone up across the board. We are however very frustrated with the inability for us to plan and budget responsibly for this increase due to a lack of professionalism and responsibility from the City of Calgary. You can reach either or both of the Councillors (Councillors Mian and Dhaliwal) here via the City of Calgary Contact Form.
Second - If you know of any company who would be willing and able to undertake a Corporate Sponsorship with Centennial Little league, please introduce them to myself at President@cllbaseball.ca - any corporate sponsorship we could find will help ease the burden for the entire organization
And Lastly - as part of our Annual 50/50 draw this spring - we will really need everyone’s increased commitment to selling tickets. Last year we sold over $80,000 - which was amazing for our first year. But we had a large percentage of players who didn’t sell our “goal” of $100 per player. After costs, etc.. we will need to DOUBLE our goal for the 50/50 to $160,000 just to ensure we are not negatively impacted by this Rate Increase from the City of Calgary. Additionally if anyone wants to provide supplementary prizes to be included as part of our Draw we have until February 15th to finalize those - email me directly at email@example.com to assist!
Thank you for taking the time to read up on this challenge being faced by our Volunteer Run organization. The more that we all can do to address this challenge now, will mitigate and assist in keeping our rates down in subsequent years. As always the Board of Directors will begin the evaluation of our 2024 rates and present any potential increases at our Annual General Meeting in September 2023 for approval by our membership. We are hopeful that by working together we can ensure that any increase for 2024 will be reasonable, while maintaining the financial viability and strength of our Little League Association for the long term.
Best regards on behalf of the Centennial Little League Board of Directors,