Tyler City Council urges soccer groups to work out their differences

Published on Thursday, 14 September 2017 10:49 - Written by

ROY MAYNARD, rmaynard@tylerpaper.com

The Tyler City Council has asked two competing soccer associations to sit down together and find a way to share the city’s athletic fields.

In recent weeks, FC Dallas, which has soccer teams in East Texas, has made a bid to pay the city for the use of the fields at Lindsey Park for practice. But the Tyler Soccer Association says that using the fields daily will put too much strain on the fields, which already have maintenance issues.

“I really think the discussion needs to be the two organizations that have had the most conflict,” said Mayor Martin Heines in Wednesday’s City Council meeting. “They really need to get together and come up with a solution.”

Added council member Don Warren, “The baseball groups got together and worked this out. That’s a roadmap we can utilize. I encourage you to take this upon yourselves and come back to us with a solution.”

Representatives from both soccer clubs and also a rugby club spoke during the meeting. They agreed that they should find a solution among themselves.

“The majority of the people here are here because of their love of kids,” Tyler Soccer Association President Randy Hill said. “We can sit down as a group and work this out and come back to the council with a proposal that works for everybody.”

Tyler resident Jonathan Wolf also spoke.

“My grandmother donated the land for Lindsey Park,” he said. “It’s painful to drive by that facility and see it vacant. We need to come together.”

The issue initially came up last month when intramural sports organizations expressed concern about the city’s proposed rate hike for renting the fields.

Representatives from some of the sports organizations also expressed concers about the condition of the fields and the restroom facilities at Lindsey Park, in particular.

The council on Wednesday took no formal action on the matter, since there was no agenda item, but Heines asked the clubs to come back with a recommendation no later than Jan. 1, 2018.

The council did approve the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 budget, which included a fee increase for the use of those fields. Clubs will now be charged $700 per field per year for their use.

That budget, at $152.48 million, was adopted along with the new tax rate of 23 cents per $100 of property valuation. That’s up a penny from last year’s rate of 22 cents per $100. The revenues from the increase will be dedicated to streets, officials say.

In other business, the council approved a change in its animal control ordinances, allowing pet owners to get their dogs and cats vaccinated every three years, rather than every year.

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