Local soccer players will soon have a safer and more attractive place to play, thanks to the efforts of Warren County Youth Soccer and the auspices of the McMinnville Board of Mayor and Aldermen, who unanimously approved a plan to improve the local soccer complex.
WCYS presented a proposal to install a four-foot high chain-link fence between the lower parking lot and the edge of the grass at the soccer park located on Laws Road. As part of the project, the group also plans to gravel the upper grass parking lot.
The project is to be done at the expense of WCYS.
Interim Parks and Recreation director Greg Wanamaker presented the proposal Tuesday night at the most recent meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
“What Warren County Youth Soccer is proposing is to build a four-foot high chain-link fence at the lower parking lot area from the existing fence at the driveway entrance along the gravel edge of the parking lot all the way to the end, which is something like 770 feet,” Wanamaker said. “They’re wanting to leave some openings, not gates, but openings for entrances. Right now what we have is about three-foot high wooden posts that have been installed since the park has been there. We had cable running through it until someone stole the steel cable a couple of years ago.”
Wanamaker said it did present a bit of a safety concern as it stood.
“I think it’ll take care of that if we allow them to do this,” Wanamaker said. “They’re also going to install poly-cap on top of this fence. You’ve seen it on top of chain-link fence. It’s a yellowish looking cap and it looks really good. It’s for safety concerns.”
Wanamaker said the fence will prevent athletes from running into the road after balls or out into the driveway.
“I know that’s always been a concern,” Wanamaker said. “Nothing has ever happened, but knock on wood, we hope it never does. I think this will help.”
Wanamaker said the project won’t cost the city anything and will help give recognition to local soccer sponsors.
“They want to do this at their expense,” Wanamaker said. “They also propose that they’ll hang sponsor signs on this fence. Right now they have vinyl signs they hang on some portable posts at each field and now they’d like to do something permanent by putting those signs on this fence, so I guess we’re killing two birds with one stone with this. They also asked about graveling the upper grass parking lot, the overflow parking. It’s just grass now and in bad weather it gets kind of muddy up there and they want to gravel it at their expense.”
Wanamaker said he feels the project would improve the soccer park significantly.
“They’re willing to spend some money and I think it’s a good idea, so I’d like to propose this,” Wanamaker said.
“No downside?” asked Vice Mayor Everett Brock.
“I don’t see any,” said Wanamaker.
“If we get this OK’d they would like to start immediately,” said city administrator David Rutherford. “They have the spring season coming up and they’ve had good response, so they want to get it up by then.”
Brock was worried about liability.
“Let’s say somebody damaged it or stole a section of the fence would that be covered by our insurance since it’s our property?” Brock asked.
“I think it probably would be,” said Rutherford. “After it’s put up we’d have to have the adjuster go look at it.”
“Sounds like a win-win to me,” said Alderman Jimmy Haley. “I make a motion we approve this.”
The motion passed unanimously.