the City actually take away all of the athletic fields from the GVAA?
A: No. The City decided to no longer grant the GVAA access to our
baseball/softball fields only. The City did not withdraw the football fields. The football fields are part of the usage agreement. How can the city pick and choose which parts
of the contract they will honor?
Why did the City just take the baseball/softball fields away from the GVAA and
not the football fields?
A: Routine maintenance expenses relating to field preparation are
much greater for baseball and softball than football because of the longer
season. For this reason, it made fiscal sense for the City to take back
baseball and softball fields. Also, it should be noted that the City has never
administered the youth football program. The GVAA has managed youth football since the 2007
season. Prior to 2007, youth football was managed by the Grain Valley Lion’s
Club. In addition, the GVAA currently owns all of
the needed football equipment for the players (helmets, shoulder pads, etc.)
and has the ability and facilities to continue to run a quality, youth football
program. The city has never run softball, yet they are
taking it. GVAA has the ability to run a
quality baseball and softball program. GVAA
also owns all equipment needed for a baseball/softball program. The city believes they will show significant
profit by running the baseball and softball programs. GVAA can provide a detailed breakdown of the
financials for baseball.
If the City only took away the baseball/softball fields from the GVAA and not
the football fields, why is the GVAA claiming that it can no longer provide
A: The City had this same
question. The City was told by the GVAA that if it could no longer administer
youth baseball/softball and receive the revenue from those leagues, the GVAA
could no longer afford to administer the
youth football program because money from each youth baseball and softball
registration was going toward the youth football program to keep the football
registration fees down and subsidize that particular sport.
The GVAA is the only youth,
athletic association around that administers multiple sports. Surrounding communities like Oak Grove, Blue
Springs, Independence and Lee’s Summit all have separate associations for each
sport. For example, in Independence, the
IGSA runs youth softball; the Queen City Athletic Association runs youth
baseball; Pop Warner runs youth football; and the SAI runs youth soccer. Each of these youth associations are
self-supporting and financially able to stand alone. GVAA has proven, for many years, which having all youth
sports under the same umbrella, provides a better service for the children in
the program. Having different entities
running each sport, not communicating with one another or working together, is
not the best way to serve the families in our community.
Will the City provide a scholarship program or offer a discount for youth in
our community that do not have the ability to pay?
A: Absolutely. The City’s
goal is to make sure that every child has the opportunity to participate in
youth sports regardless of their financial ability. GVAA has ALWAYS worked with families to make it possible for
EVERY child to play.
was the GVAA created?
A: The primary
reason the GVAA was created was because 10-15 years ago, the City did not have
adequate staffing to meet the program’s needs. The GVAA was established to
administer the youth leagues in the City. The agreement called for the GVAA to
use the City’s athletic fields and reimburse the City a small money amount to
help offset the cost of using the facility.
asked TJ Parra to create the GVAA because they were not able to run them. This was stated in a Park Board meeting, in
How much does the City require the GVAA
to pay for usage of the athletic facilities for their leagues?
A. When the GVAA was established in the fall of 2007, it only ran
youth football. Over the next two years,
the GVAA began overseeing youth soccer and youth basketball as well. By 2009, the organization was administering
not only those three sports but youth baseball and softball as well. The City did not begin charging the GVAA for
facility usage until 2010. Per the
facility usage contract, the City was only charging the GVAA 25 percent of all
facility usage costs, which includes expenses like the material, equipment,
fuel and labor needed to prepare the athletic fields and maintain restroom
facilities, utilities (field lights, water/sewer), and any other ancillary
costs directly related to the GVAA’s leagues.
The City also transferred equipment like pitching machines, portable
mounds and soccer goals over to the GVAA at no cost.
The GVAA paid the City its agreed
upon 25 percent reimbursement in 2010 and 2011, but in 2012, the GVAA informed
the City that it could no longer afford the 25 percent reimbursement. The City offered to reduce the amount owed
contingent upon the GVAA providing financial documents, including 2010, 2011
and 2012 revenues and expenses. The City has not received the detailed
financial reports as requested and recently learned that the state of Missouri
had revoked the GVAA’s 501c3 financial status. The GVAA’s unwillingness to
provide financial reports and the loss of the organization’s non-profit status
led the city to question whether it had a good fiduciary partner in the GVAA
and whether scaling back the relationship would be in the best interest of
taxpayers. As in this entire situation, the city is only
providing a portion of the story. All
negotiations began when the city wanted to change the $7500 fee, GVAA paid in
2011, to over $30,000, in 2012. GVAA was
not able to pay that outrageous amount.
There was negotiations in 2012.
We asked the Parks and Recreation Director, Shannon Davies, multiple times in 2012 and 2013 for the new
agreement. He stopped attending GVAA
board meetings and said he did not have the time to work on the agreement. Finally, in late 2013, GVAA President and
Vice President were able to have a meeting with the City Administrator, Alexa
Barton, and Parks and Rec Director, Shannon Davies. At that meeting, GVAA did present their
financial records. We also asked the
city to provide their financial reports, regarding where the tax dollars were
being allocated to. They said they would
provide it to GVAA, but it has not yet been received. GVAA’s 501c3 financial status was revoked due to the fact that their
CPA had not filed the taxes that she had been paid to file. Once GVAA became aware of this fact, they
began to reapply. The process is nearing
completion and the 501c3 status should be restored very soon.
If the city believes the GVAA is not a good
fiduciary partner, why would they want GVAA to continue to run all sports, except
baseball and softball.
Are the youth baseball and softball registration fees going to remain the same?
A: No. Parents of Grain Valley youth will be paying less to play
baseball and softball through our Parks & Recreation department. The City’s registration fees for youth
baseball and softball will now be in line with what surrounding communities
charge. GVAA has done everything it can to keep the
registration cost, for all sports, as low as possible. Comparing it to other communities is not comparing
apples to apples. GVAA can provide a
financial statement showing that all monies going out is in line with the
monies coming in. This is a NON-PROFIT
Are any youth sports leagues in Grain Valley going to be dropped,
forcing kids to sign-up in another community?
A: The City is going to do everything in its power to ensure that
does not happen. The City will continue to work with the GVAA to assist where
needed to ensure that the GVAA will still be able to administer youth football,
basketball, track and cheerleading, but the City wants to ensure that those
programs are administered in a fiscally responsible manner for our community. The City’s No. 1 goal is to make sure that we
continue to have strong youth sports programs in Grain Valley that focus on
learning, teamwork and camaraderie, while providing an avenue for health and
exercise. The bottom line is that the City is committed to fostering an environment
that is both fun for children and fair to taxpayers. Please notice the sentence stating the City’s No. 1 goal is
to make sure that we continue to have strong youth sports programs in Grain
Valley… The key word in that statement
is continue! GVAA has provided a
very strong youth sports program for the children, in our community. The City has chosen to take that away over
$962. If the City was interested in
providing a fun atmosphere for the children and more opportunity for the
children, they would work with GVAA, instead of against it.
If you have additional questions
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Q: Will the City and the GVAA be meeting soon to
discuss the upcoming fall football season?
A: Yes. The Grain Valley
Mayor/Board of Aldermen, staff and the GVAA Board will be having a Special Work
Session at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 30th at Grain Valley City Hall to discuss the
upcoming fall football season.