Soccer recommendation still sought
Sid Ryan, director of the Washington Soccer Club, said that he may not attend Wednesday’s City Council meeting, as he doesn’t feel the club, the Washington Community Y, and the city have reached a suitable resolution for installing a soccer field on city land located on 18th Street.
While the issue of a shared use agreement between the club and the Y is on the agenda, as well as a possible action item amending the city’s farm lease, Ryan doesn’t believe a proposal is ready to go to the council. He said that the groups may meet again before the council meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the council chambers, but he doesn’t know if a deal will be reached.
“It has turned into a little circus,” Ryan said, of the discussions with the city and the Y. “It almost seems like it has turned into a struggle over who is going to run the Wellness Park with this little piece of ground. It should have been a simple thing where the kids could go and have a place to play. Now, it has turned into some legal structure format for the Wellness Park.”
During the regular city council meeting on Aug. 7, the council asked Ryan and Washington Community Y director Becky Harkema to come up with a plan for the Y to administer a proposed soccer field to be built on city property. Ryan had approached the city about using 10 acres of the 45 acres of land on 18th Street that the city plans to use for a proposed Wellness Park. He said the soccer club would raise the $15,000 needed to install the field. During discussion, the idea of making the proposal an early run for the Wellness Park was brought up and a motion was made to lease the land to the Y to administer it for the soccer club, as well as being in charge of scheduling the field for use. The vote was tabled until a plan between the club and the Y was formed.
Harkema said today that she was unsure of what would happen, saying that nothing had been set. She plans to attend the meeting.
During the meeting, Ryan had expressed a problem with allowing the Y to determine the use if the soccer club were going to pay to build the field. He said in the past the Y had administered the use of the soccer fields and the club was unable to use the fields as often as they would have liked. He also said the fields were scheduled for use by other teams, including flag football teams, which tore up the field.
A concern Ryan has is that the club may end up disbanding. The club has been active since 2000.
“I don’t think there is much future if there is no place to play,” he said.
The council is also scheduled to:
• hear a presentation from Washington Municipal Band president Paul Towner;
• hold a hearing for John Heal in regard to a notice of a dangerous building;
• consider a third reading of an ordinance amending the animal protection and control section;
• consider a resolution supporting the south side area sidewalk connector project;
• consider a resolution establishing septic hauling terms and conditions and setting fees; and
• hold a closed session for personnel matters.