Asheboro cuts youth sports fees for low-income students

Randolph County Commissioners

ASHEBORO – The Asheboro City Council met Thursday, Feb. 8, approving a new youth athletics scholarship program that will cut registration fees for youth sports by 50 percent:

“60% of boys and 65% of girls in the United States do not participate in youth sports of any kind,” said assistant recreation services director Jody Maness. “Now that is alarming in and of itself, but if you look a little deeper into those numbers, you will find that in homes where the median income is roughly $100,000 a year, that number is pretty consistent. Roughly 39% of those children participate in youth sports in some way. If you look in the other direction, that of $25,000 median income homes, only a quarter of those children play any sports in some form or fashion.”

To qualify for the new program, a child has to be 18 years old or younger, reside in Asheboro and must be eligible for Medicaid and currently receiving those benefits. It will not apply to registration fees of $15 or less.

“In our student population in the city school system, there’s enough children that qualify for free or reduced lunch that the whole system can choose to have free or reduced lunch,” said city manager John Ogburn. “So we’re kind of building off that. We’ve seen it with what happened with youth football. When the cost was substantially reduced, we had so many more people out there. We think we can drive back up baseball and basketball with that kind of approach too.”

In other matters, an expansion to the Zoo City Social District was approved, with one dissenting vote by council member Eddie Burks.

The expansion will include moving the boundary east to include the Hoover Hatchet House by encompassing the west side of South Fayetteville Street from Worth Street, which is also included right up to the courthouse, to Academy Street while also extending west on Sunset Avenue to include Hamilton’s Steakhouse.

The second reading will be voted on at the March 7 meeting with an effective date of March 14.

A rezoning request was considered for 1.84 acres of property located at 1419 and 1425 Old Liberty Road to allow the construction of several single and multi-family residences on the property. While the zoning requires each lot be 75 feet wide, the proposed site plan has widths of 74.18, 74.53 and 74.13 feet so it’s not much of a variance. The request was approved.

The city’s 2022-23 end-of-year audit report came back clean, and the council approved the appointment of Pamela Vuncannon to a new five-year term on the Planning Board and sent a request to the Randolph County Board of Commissioners for the reappointment of Thomas Rush to the Planning Board as a representative from the city’s extraterritorial planning jurisdiction.

The Asheboro City Council will next meet March 7.

By Ryan Henkel, North State Journal