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Friday, July 22, 2016

Updated: Fairhope Soccer Complex Opening Delayed

Fairhope, Alabama

Update: Bob Keyser of the Fairhope Soccer Club told the city council that the Fall Halloween tournament will be held at the complex after all; portable restroom and concession trailers will be brought in.



Manley Rd. Fairhope Soccer Complex



FUNDING SHORTFALL

According to  recreation department director Sullivan, the Manley Road soccer complex will not be completed for Fall tournaments in October, as was hoped.

At least an additional $600K is needed to finish it: construct restrooms, concession stands, and other amenities.

Using yearly land rent from its lessees, directors of the private Fairhope Single Tax Corporation recently voted to provide only half of that amount; the additional $300K will have to made up from other sources, possibly from the city itself.

The city council began discussing the possibility of additional funding at its last work session.


SINGLE TAX CORP. CONCERNS

The FSTC considered providing the whole amount at one time, but decided to fund a new parking lot and more landscaping behind the library instead (for about $450K) with their limited yearly funds.

When asked about it by a Times reporter, FSTC president Turner questioned the wisdom of not including the cost of basic facilities like restrooms in the original design costs.

Bleachers for the fields, especially the two championship ones, will be another big additional cost, according to the mayor.

Portable facilities (restrooms) could be brought is so that the fields could be used sooner for practice sessions, at least.

City employees could help with more in-kind services too (time permitting), such as installing utility services and irrigation.


PRIVATE FUNDRAISER UNDERWAY

The Fairhope Soccer Club (click) is currently conducting a fundraiser to raise money for goals, nets and other miscellaneous equipment -- click.

Mayor Kant told the Times it may be less costly to just provide the funds to the private soccer club and let them finish the project themselves -- instead of the city doing it and being subjected to costly extra regulations that only apply to governments.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Would like to point out that the rest of the world plays soccer in the rain...because the fields are built to handle it...and the fans come prepared... J.P.

Anonymous said...

But where do you plan to pee?

Anonymous said...

The dirt pit across the road maybe.

Anonymous said...

Mobile is planning a huge soccer complex to lure national-class tournaments. How do the fields in Fairhope compare to the Mobile plan? Will ours be too puny to attract large tournaments in the long run?

Anonymous said...

The original design omitted such obvious basics as restrooms and bleachers? And the planning department approved it? Who wasn't aware enough to catch this rookie omission? Let the private club raise the money. Spend the city funds on physical infrastructure projects that benefit the entire community.

Anonymous said...

This is quite amusing. The fall tournament will take place on the complex. The original budget was 4 million and was cut to 2 million by the Council. The city and Single tax are splitting the restroom costs. The soccer community will fill in the gaps for shade paths goals and other necessary equipment. Not sure any of the other sports pay for the equipment that the community has access to.

Donald Garnto said...

Sounds to me as if this entire fiasco was not very well thought out.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps el mayor has a family member in the porta-potty business!

Anonymous said...

Mobile vetoed that plan. No longer an option.

Anonymous said...

Foley's fields look amazing and are up and running. Maybe we could just use theirs? Shop at Tanger across the street between games. And not hear the gun range all afternoon next to the dirt put restrooms...

Anonymous said...

Soccer generates revenue for the city when the average tournament brings Mom, Dad, and a sibling or two for the entire weekend. Businesses need affluent visitors with disposable income. Affluent visitors with disposable income need a reason to come here, instead of the many other soccer options along the coast. When was the last time the library created tax revenue (sales tax, and lodging tax)?

Anonymous said...

Chasing the tourist dollar will always run off the local dollar, than your forever chasing when before it was sustained.

Anonymous said...

Fairhope Times, please continue to post updates from Bob Keyser. He is a trustworthy retired Army colonel a former head of the Corps of Engineers and has devoted countless volunteer hours to helping the city's recreation programs get where we need them to be to serve our population that's busting at the seams. Working with city government is beyond frustrating, but Bob sticks it out year-after-year. While I'm at it, SHAME ON THE RIPP REPORT FOR THE HATE MONGERING!!!!!!!! There is no need for that person's incessant disparaging personal attacks on city employees. It's always helpful to bring facts to the light, but stop inciting HATRED. In the end, these people are our neighbors in this small community whether we agree on everything they're doing or not.

Anonymous said...

Fairhope is the perfect type community to host large soccer tournaments. When our club team plays in an out of town tourney we spend two nights in a hotel, eat at least 4 or more meals in local restaurants, possibly go shopping or enjoy some other type of local activities. Fairhope could put those tourism dollars to good use!!

Anonymous said...

Barnwell football fields. We built the concessions and restrooms. Then gave it to the city

Anonymous said...

I agree. Would be a great place for tournaments, big tournaments, not the crap they have been doing for ten years.

Anonymous said...

The soccer club needed to plan the facilities - the FSTC and the City both pledged the money. All the soccer folks had to do was find a builder. If the City did the building, an extra 30-60K would have had to be spent on red tape. The FSTC was not going to build it because FSTC is NOT in the construction business.
I say to the soccer folks: BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME