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Friday, August 30, 2019

Soccer Fundraising Shortfall In Walkerton

Walkerton | by Robyn Garvey  

Brockton is wrestling with how to tackle a $281,000 Soccer Field Fundraising shortfall.

Despite an incredibly strong start, it doesn't look like the original fundraising goals for Walkerton's Soccer Field Complex will be easily reached.

Brockton is wrestling with how it should tackle a 281 thousand Soccer Field Fundraising shortfall now that the original committee has dissolved.

Of the 281 thousand dollars shortfall, 43 thousand is in uncollected pledges.

The challenge, now the original Soccer Field Fundraising Committee has dissolved there is no organization or committee taking a lead on all of this.

In an effort not to burden taxpayers with the outstanding balance, Council has instructed staff to investigate the possibility of slightly increasing user fees over the next twenty years to offset some of this fundraising shortfall.

Peabody says it will have to be a delicate balancing act so not to discourage users from renting out the fields.

Peabody says it is also time to think beyond soccer and suggests opening up the fields to other sports groups such as rugby and lacrosse.

There is also still naming rights for two of the soccer fields at 50 thousand dollars a piece.

In terms of outstanding pledges, a letter campaign from Brockton staff has helped drop the outstanding pledges from 64 thousand dollars at the beginning of June down to 43 thousand dollars, and staff are optimistic more pledge dollars will continue to trickle through.

Despite failed attempts this summer to create a new soccer field fundraising committee within the community, Brockton has decided to strike its own small committee with former Mayor David Inglis, Councillor James Lang and community member Dave Barrett.

The hope is that this will get the ball rolling and others will join the cause.

The 1.1 million dollar Bruce Power Regional Soccer Park was constructed on the condition that the original fundraising committee would cover 2/3rds of the cost and Brockton the remaining 1/3rd.

This worked out to be 735 thousand dollars from the fundraising committee and 362 thousand from Brockton.

Initially fundraising efforts were going quite well with 433 thousand dollars raised between 2015 and 2018.

This all teetered off with the fundraising committee disbanding leaving Brockton scrambling to determine how to best offset the shortfall.


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