May 2016 Newsletter

. . . about Town

With Mayor Bob


Over the last ten years soccer has grown in popularity in the United States. Communities all across this country are scrambling to keep up with the growing need for places to play this sport. A new soccer complex may soon become a reality for the city of Decatur.


During the regular city council meeting May 10, Mayor Bob Tharp unveiled a plan to build a new soccer complex on city property near Grant Avenue.


“After listening to sport fans in Decatur, I recognize the need for more soccer fields than could be built at Veterans Park,” Tharp said. “With the resent purchase of land near Grant Ave, I feel this area serve the community as a new soccer complex.


Last May the city of Decatur purchased property that the Water Department’ s well number five sits on. With that purchase came approximately six acres of undeveloped land, which is accessible from Grant Ave.


Tharp approached one of the city’s engineering firms, Engineering Services Inc., to draft a preliminary drawing for the soccer complex. These drawings were presented to the city council for review during the May 10 meeting. These drawings were the result of merely placing regulation field measurements on the property to see what the complex might look like.


The purposed complex calls for a 210’ x 320’ regulation tournament soccer field to be used for league play. This new field would allow regional soccer tournaments.


When not in use, the regulation field would be divided into two smaller 150’ x 210’ U-10 (ages up to 10) youth fields. This would support the Decatur youth soccer program in all areas.


Two additional youth sport field, a 90’ x 120’ U-8 and a 75’ x 90’ U-6 could be added in the future should the need arises. Both fields meet the regulation requirements for the younger leagues.


The complex will have a restroom facility near the main soccer field and a future playground and green space in the northeast corner of the property. A parking lot with 72 parking spots is planned on the east side of the complex. Access to the complex will be from the Grant Springs Drive.


Last May, Decatur received a $15,000 matching grant from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to build a youth soccer field at Veterans Park.   The scope of this project appears to be too large to fit into Veterans Park and leave space for future plans such as a walking trail and aquatic park.


The funds from the grant combined with the cities share and an addition $5,000 grant from state senator Jim Hendren will fund the cost of the construction project.


Several tasks have to be completed to get this project from the idea stage, into a real project, and then completed, such as surveys of the land, opening access to the land from Grant Avenue, and completing work on the Grants for the project, etc.


My hope is to involve all interested parties in our community as this complex project is developed.


“This complex is for our youth,” Tharp said. “This will encourage them to become more active in sports where they can learn team work, self confidence, and pride in community.”


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