It seems the recent article written by Kare 11 may not have clearly defined our position on the issue of high school sports teams selling salt. We want to take a moment just to clear up some points:
1. At this point, some of our competitors in St. Peter, MN have contacted their State Representatives to gain legal insight on this issue. However, we are NOT seeking any type of legislation at this point. We are only gathering information. There are a lot of questions regarding safety and liability that we feel should be addressed.
2. Many people have suggested (via comments on Kare 11’s Web site) that we work WITH the schools. This is something we have also thought of. We have spoken with about a dozen local schools and provided them with salt quotes that were extrememly compeitive. The problem is that the schools get pricing almost equal to ours from our vendors. This makes it unattractive to the school to buy from a local company — we can’t beat, or even match, their current pricing.
3. One question we have is: Are these kids insured to be carrying heavy bags of salt down stairways and into people’s homes? What happens when a kid trips and falls with one or two 40LB bags on his shoulder?
4. Another question we have is this: How can school employees (whose job it is to teach our kids) be running $30,000 fundraisers that hurt the local economy? Aren’t they paid with our tax dollars? For most, if not all, of the schools we have spoken to it is the coaches we are organizing the sales — not the volunteer PTO.
5. How much of the money raised goes to the kids? Are they still paying to play their sport? If you have 50 kids on a team that equates to $600 per kid (according to what the Minnetonka team makes per year). Where is all of that money going? Does it really cost $30,000 per year to run the football program? That is seriously awesome fundraising — but it does cause you to wonder what the money is being spent on. It should go to the kids, but is it?
6. If the school is selling salt as a business they should also be collecting sales tax on what they sell. Maybe they are, but this is also something that we think needs to be addressed. In order for schools to fairly compete in our market we simply feel they should be held to the same standards and regulations of a legally operating business. This is what is fair and this is what is safe.