WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — The Susiegray McConnell Sports Complex is home of many sports leagues which may see fewer players because of increased fees.

“I’m frustrated for the kids in Washington and their parents to come up with the money to pay for the fees and pay for the equipment they need to play in these sports,” said Patty Peebles, president of the Optimist Club.

The city of Washington has decided to raise leagues fees from $15 to $20 for those in city limits and $40 for those who live within county limits.

“Some of them will be discouraged,” said Peebles. “Some of them may not sign up all their children. They may make them pick and choose how many sports they can play.”

The city says it’s just the demand of the budget.

“We’re not trying to discourage kids,” said William Pitt, councilman for the city of Washington. “We are trying to make sure our programs continue to be there.”

While the Optimist Club just wants transparency in all of this, city council wants to work with county commissioners to keep sports affordable.

“I’d like the opportunity to sit with the county commissioners,” said Pitt. “I’d like the commissioners and the leagues and the city council and our representatives to sit and say why can’t we get along? Why are we doing this? The people who really suffer is that child. It’s that child whose friends are playing because they want to play as well.”

They say they are in the red in their sports budget, spending over one million every year to maintain the complex and only receive $20,000 from the county to supplement a variety of programs. None of this money goes directly to sports.

“What we’re asking, we’re not asking for a million three,” said Pitt. “We’re asking for some help with us because kids need to be with kids. Sports grow character.”

“Sports are very important for keeping kids off the street,” said Peebles. “It’s good exercise for them. It teaches teamwork, how to get along with others; it teaches them that everything in life is not winning.”