Cornwall lowers rental rate for its minor sports clubs to use town facilities

·2 min read

CORNWALL – The town is changing the rental model of its sports facilities to make them more accessible to its minor sports clubs.

This includes all the sports fields featured at the town's Terry Fox Sports Complex as well as the four baseball diamonds Cornwall helps to maintain.

For Coun. Corey Frizzell, bringing this change about was one of the reasons he ran for council this term.

"Cornwall has charged the highest rates in the province," he said in an interview with The Guardian.

The decision to adjust the rates was made during a regular council meeting on Feb. 17. The new model will have town-based clubs pay a season fee based on the number of Cornwall and non-Cornwall residents on their team.

Up to this point, clubs have been paying based on how many hours they use the field for throughout an entire season, which Frizzell notes can add up quickly at the most recent rate of about $25 per hour.

"To a minor sports club," he said, "that's a significant chunk of change."

The new model doesn't necessarily mean it'll cost less for residents to participate in the clubs. Rather, the clubs won't have to pay or fundraise as much to use the facilities, Frizzell said.

Adrian Desbertes, president of the Eliot River Ramblers, was pleased to see council put this decision forward as it helps the clubs to compete with other P.E.I. clubs.

"Rental fees have always been one of the biggest holes in our pocket," he said. "It impacts our ability to deliver a program."

That being said, he expects rental fees for all of his club's teams will be about $5,000 to $6,000 per season under this model, which is still relatively high on P.E.I. Summerside's clubs have no rental fees, and some turfs across Charlottetown give money back to clubs in rebates, so Desbertes hopes this is just the beginning for Cornwall.

"It's a step in the right direction for sure," he said.

The charge will apply to a maximum usage based on each club's average logged hours during the 2016, 2017 and 2019 seasons. If a club exceeds its average, rental rates will revert to a per hour model.

The model will be re-evaluated prior to the 2023 field usage season.

Daniel Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Guardian