TBM council forgives tennis court fees for Collingwood school

The Blue Mountains council has agreed to forgive tennis court fees for a local school.

At its meeting on Nov. 14, council received a letter from Our Lady of the Bay Catholic High School teacher Sarah Clarke asking for consideration that fees for the Boyer Park tennis courts be waived. In her letter, Clarke explained the Collingwood school used the courts on two dates in September and October for a total cost of $293.80. The courts were used during school tournaments.

“Along with booking the courts, there are the equipment costs and transportation costs. As we all know, the costs of everything have greatly increased. It is our goal to ensure that high school sports are accessible to all students, no matter their financial situation,” Clarke said in the letter.

Council voted 5-0 (Mayor Alar Soever was absent) in favour of waiving the fees. Council also discussed establishing a formal policy for such requests.

Coun. Paula Hope noted that the town had received similar requests that had come before council in recent months.

“This is where a policy could work well and diminish the size of our agendas,” said Hope.

Director of Community Services Ryan Gibbons said staff generally try to work with school principals ahead of time on when town facilities may be needed for school events. He said sometimes there are one-off events that pop up that aren’t planned in advance. Gibbons said staff would connect with Collingwood schools on the matter.

Deputy Mayor Peter Bordignon said if the events are known ahead of time, schools are encouraged to come to the town’s grants and donations committee for relief from the fees for the facilities.

Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca