Archived Story

Albert Lea City Council gives OK to 6-field soccer complex

Published 10:08am Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The north part of Albert Lea’s Edgewater Park is on track to become a new six-field soccer complex.

The Albert Lea City Council on Monday unanimously approved a license agreement with the Albert Lea Youth Soccer Association to develop the property, across from the new pavilion, and turn it into the complex. The site is the former location of a landfill.

“We’re really excited about making a site out there that will be a beautiful green area that will have literally thousands of visitors every year,” said Greg Wilson with the association.

Under the agreement, the Albert Lea Youth Soccer Association will construct the fields — everything from leveling the land, and then tiling, grading and seeding it for use — with donations and in-kind labor. The city will approve the final plans and oversee the work, which must be completed prior to August 2014.

After the project is completed, the city will maintain the fields, with the association essentially leasing back the property for 20 years.

The fields will be used by children ages 9 to 17 and will range in size to accommodate different age groups.

Organizers are hoping the association will be able to run tournaments at the site and bring people into the community.

Outgoing Youth Soccer Association President Sophie Ehrhardt said there are currently more than 200 children who are a part of the association, and she thinks soccer is a growing sport.

Part of the agreement calls for the city to be paid $10 per player by the association for the first year of soccer at the site. The fee will assist the city with maintenance costs of the fields. City Manager Chad Adams estimated the annual maintenance costs to be about $7,000.

The agreement also calls for the city to provide parking stalls for the fields. The agreement can be revisited by both parties annually.

Albert Lea Mayor Vern Rasmussen thanked the members of the association and said he looks forward to seeing the project completed.

In other action, the City Council:

• Approved a 1.75 percent cost of living increase for Adams.

With the increase, he will make $113,163 annually.

• Voted to table the vacation of the roadway easement between Sykes and Westron streets in front of a proposed $5 million Kwik Trip development. Discussion on the issue will continue Jan. 28.

• Voted to allocate police and fire pension fund interest earnings to pay for the final payment for the Law Enforcement Center lease, the Fire Department study and capital expenditures for the police and fire departments.

• Rezoned the Hills Garden area that was annexed into the city in August.

• Rezoned the Overhead Door Co. property at 77893 209th St. as a B-2 Community Business District.

• Named the Tribune as the city’s official newspaper for 2013 for matters required by law to be published.

• Established appointments of the council and members of the community to various city commissions.

• Established the rules and procedures for the council to follow when conducting business throughout 2013.

• Designated the depositories for city funds as U.S. Bank of Albert Lea, UBS Financial Services Inc. of Rochester and the Minnesota Municipal Money Market Fund.

• Approved a lawful gambling permit for the American Legion Post 56 at Holiday Lanes.

  • Greg Sundholm

    Really?! After a single story in the paper about the proposed soccer complex (which makes it seem like a emerging issue) its voted on and passed. A project that will ultimate cost the city to maintain with no monetary return on investment. Yet the vacation of the road so Kwik Trip(a story that has been discussed at length)can build to bring jobs, and tax revenue is still floundering. Makes one wonder.

  • jeffjimenez

    very dissapointed. We have Brookside and Southwest fields that can be used. Also Lakeview Park and the Hammer Field Complex. This decision is a bad one. There are other issues that would financially benefit the community. This is not one of them. I dont complain often but this one only benefits certain people.

  • Nikki Kirsch

    I agree with the other commenters. This is a great idea but there are better locations with existing infrastructure. I don’t see why this wasn’t reported on earlier. And where are you going to safely put parking for all these people?

  • jeffjimenez

    Baseball is a growing sport too. What did the baseball organizations do? Utilize the communities current resources. So, what makes soccer different?? There will be an increase of traffic in that area. Lots of kids playing, lots of family gatherings there too. Also, what did the current homeowners in that area say about this? Like I said earlier, I normally comment or complain but it is this type of business that upsets people in our community. Pure and simple..it stinks!

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