Recreational athletics has become a topic of conversation as a result of the July 10th Iredell-Statesville School Board Meeting. Iredell County provides recreational facilities and works in partnership with the 40 different non-profit athletic associations throughout the County to provide recreational opportunities for the youth of Iredell County. These associations are independent organizations managed and operated by their own board of directors, with no control by or affiliation to the County. Every association, as well as most athletic providers, have rules and restrictions regarding sportsmanship of the players and spectators. Any time these rules are not followed and the play becomes dangerous for the participants, spectators or officials, action taken to adhere to the rules to continue participation is at the sole discretion of the association and its board. At times, some entities may not be allowed to continue to play with that athletic association due to rule violations. If that occurs, that does not mean they cannot continue to play; however, for the purposes of playing at school athletic facilities, their use would be subject to the ISS Board Policy 5030 – Community Use of Facilities and at the fee assessed by ISS. In other words, the groups would not be covered under the School Facility Use Agreement Iredell County has with Iredell-Statesville Schools for facility usage and they will have to pay for the use of the facilities as opposed to being able to utilize them under the fee paid by the County to Iredell Statesville Schools pursuant to the School Facility Use Agreement.
The agreement Iredell County has with ISS regarding athletic facility usage indicates the County shall prepare the fields and facilities utilized by County sponsored events and activities, the County will provide normal field maintenance of facilities used, not all fields and facilities, and the County will schedule reservations for the use of the fields and facilities for County-sponsored events. The payment includes $50,000 as utility expenses for lighting, water and heat/air during County-sponsored events and $35,000 to be used by Iredell-Statesville Schools for utility and maintenance costs and/or facility usage coordination, for the benefit and support of the local non-profit athletic associations, which are not County-sponsored programs.
If Iredell-Statesville School Board chooses not to renew the agreement, the $85,000 that is paid by the County will be discontinued and all entities will fall under the ISS Facility Usage Policy and will pay according to the Board adopted fee schedule. This action taken by the Iredell-Statesville School Board was not coordinated with nor communicated to the Iredell County Board of Commissioners and is a decision made solely by the Iredell-Statesville School Board. Iredell County has worked hard to be a good partner with all of our athletic associations, as evidenced in the $85,000 payment to Iredell-Statesville Schools to ensure those facilities are available for these associations to utilize. We will proceed with sending this communication to the Iredell-Statesville School Board requesting rescission of this decision. We appreciate the association’s commitment and dedication to offer athletic opportunities to all children of Iredell County.