Keep Austin Kid-Friendly

RECEIVED Mon., June 15, 2009

Dear Editor,
    My wife and I and our four kids are Austin natives. Growing up, our kids have been blessed with opportunities for sports which were at times beyond our financial means. For four decades, the Balcones Youth Sports volunteer organization has supported Little League Baseball and softball players from age 5 through their teens.
    This week, Austin's children may lose those opportunities.
    Balcones' registration fees have always been family-friendly, because in 1965 the city agreed to provide power and water if the volunteer organization would maintain the facilities. Now, the City Council is scratching around for money and may disavow the old agreement, doubling Balcones' operating costs by charging for utility service.
    Keeping kids occupied with sports is a worthwhile investment. Austin's electric and water utilities generate revenue. I hope it's worth the council's time to look at their options and keep Austin not only weird, but kid-friendly.
Mark Ballard
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