Parks commission votes on pay-to-play

New Canaan's Parks and Recreation Commission voted in favor of charging young people a fee to use the town's sports fields Wednesday night.

New Canaan's Parks and Recreation Commission voted in favor of charging young people a fee to use the town's sports fields Wednesday night.

New Canaan's Parks and Recreation Commission voted in favor of charging young people a fee to use the town's sports fields Wednesday night. (10/14/15)

NEW CANAAN - New Canaan's Parks and Recreation Commission voted in favor of charging young people a fee to use the town's sports fields Wednesday night.

The move will cost each child $20 per season for non-school sports teams playing on the fields. The money will go toward field maintenance.

Currently, the town is asking for a voluntary donation. Some teams already pay for facility improvements on their own.

Some parents say they think that the new fee could actually level the playing field for kids. Critics have claimed that teams donating money get more opportunities to use scarce park space.

"We try to work with all the youth sports groups to make sure they have the fields they need," says commission director Steve Benko. "Unfortunately, you can't give everybody the same field at 5 in the afternoon."

The measure will move on to New Canaan's Board of Selectmen for a final vote.

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