For whom the road toll? Not for thee, Sports teams

Council here has turned down a request from a minor ball team to run a road toll in Palmerston.

The Palmerston Marlins Squirt Girls team requested permission to operate a toll to raise funds for the team on Main Street, between Toronto Street and White’s Road, on May 30.

In a report presented at the May 19 council meeting, clerk’s assistant Peg Schieck noted public works director Brian Hansen had expressed concern about the age of potential participants.

Hansen  asked that, if the activity was approved, all participants must be over 18 and required to wear orange and yellow traffic safety vests.

However, councillor Mary Lou Colwell questioned the wisdom of expanding the use of road tolls as a means of fundraising to Sports teams.

“We’re starting a precedent here with Sports teams. I’m all for the Sports teams and helping them out, but I’m just afraid that by opening a road toll we are starting a precedent that, are we willing to continue with? And I know I’m the bad guy by bringing this up, but when I read it I was a little concerned,” she said.

“I share that same concern,” said councillor Ron Faulkner. “I have a real concerns about children – we just can’t have it – under 18, out on the road doing tolls.”

Councillor Jean Anderson said, “The road tolls for large charities I can see, but when we start opening it up, you’ll be getting requests for every weekend.

“It’s just too small a group and we support the Sports teams in the area as best we can, but I just have reservations.”

Mayor George Bridge pointed out the Safe Streets Act only allows municipalities to authorize charitable organizations registered under the income tax act to conduct fundraising on roadways.

“So technically they don’t qualify,” said Bridge.

The mayor added that council could consider the request if the team were to partner with a service group or other registered charity.

Council directed staff to advise the Marlins the request was denied due to the team’s ineligibility.