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Ogdensburg school district will charge to let out-of-district athletes play

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The Ogdensburg City School District has begun charging out-of-district athletes to play for the Blue Devils.

Varsity athletes are charged $300, junior varsity athletes are charged $200 and modified athletes are charged $150.

“Other districts charge merger fees,” said Superintendent Timothy M. Vernsey, explaining that this decision is not out of synch with area schools.

Last year the district sent five girls to play ice hockey at Canton for $511 each, he said.

“It might be a small source of revenue,” said Mr. Vernsey.

He believes the district stands to gain roughly $5,000 throughout the year from this new fee.

During budget deliberations earlier this year, the Board of Education considered cutting $80,000 from the school’s athletic department. The programs were saved but the board expects deeper cuts next year.

Tony E. Bjork, athletic director, said the school is looking at raising $1,700 through the fall sporting programs alone.

Out-of-district students are already signed up for boys and girls cross country track, girls swimming, and boys modified and junior varsity football.

Mr. Vernsey said the district expects to see “about 20 [out-of-district] students throughout the year” play in Ogdensburg.

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