Wapato Youth Athletic League to be Closed
The Wapato Youth Athletic League will be closing its doors. The league has operating out of the Wapato Community Center for the last year and a half. It says it can no longer afford to use the city-owned building.
Parents like Carrie Osorio were shocked to learn that this will be their kids’ last season.
“These are safe, fun, athletic activities that the kids are participating in,” said Carrie. “And if they go away, I don’t know what will replace those same activities for many of the kids.”
KIMA learned the league can no longer make ends meet. The director would not give us a phone interview but said, quote “We are a non-profit. WYAL can no longer meet the city’s terms.”
According to the contract, the city is responsible for the center’s utilities, electric, restroom supplies and other associated costs. It is up to the league to pay for internet and phone access as well as labor.
The contract also requires the league to have liability insurance on the building to cover two-million dollars.
The league can’t afford the premiums.
“What are we offering them to do instead,” said Carrie. “When parents are working and the city is taking away things kids have been participating in?”
Parents like Carrie believe the city should shoulder more of the costs. But Wapato does not have any plans to do so. The league plans to be out of the community center by the end of the month.
“When kids are born into areas of poverty or maybe they already have a few strikes against them, it’s hard to find things to do,” said Carrie. “And, so then if you take away something like this, it sends sort of the wrong message.”
A Wapato council member tells us the Wapato Youth Athletic League will still be able to sign the contract in November Council if it can meet the terms. If not, Wapato will try to use the building for something else.