Council: Soccer fields open until rehabilitation project begins

February 23, 2003
Santa Paula City Council

Soccer fans will still be able to play but not after April at Las Piedras and Teague parks, when the fields will be shut down for rehabilitation.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesSoccer fans will still be able to play but not after April at Las Piedras and Teague parks, when the fields will be shut down for rehabilitation.The City Council decided to hold off closing the fields at the Feb. 3rd meeting.At a previous meeting Councilman Rick Cook asked if the fields could be closed to avoid further damage, and City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz asked Brian Yanez, community services director, to contact users about the upcoming project that will replace turf and repair water lines.Yanez said the recreation department is no longer taking reservations for soccer field users.The bid package calls for the fields to be fenced off during the project, but it’s the council’s call on a closure date, noted Yanez.“I would like the public to see this as a temporary closure, not permanent,” said Mayor John Procter.Bobkiewicz said the city could “move ahead now” with the closure or wait until construction starts in early April.Yanez agreed but said a temporary fence would have to be erected to keep users off the fields.“It’s a policy question more than a budget question,” said Bobkiewicz, with “casual” field users probably most impacted.
The fields are “deteriorating more and more,” as the project date approaches, said YanezProcter wanted to know the “clear benefit” of denying use, “I just want to make sure there is some benefit,” to early closure.The majority of field users are adults and the city has made accommodations for AYSO youth teams, noted Yanez.Councilwoman Mary Ann Krause noted that when she toured city soccer fields, “Teague Park had a large number of users that day and your explanation was that it had rained,” giving farm workers the day off.“It affects all recreation uses,” when a rainy day is followed by clear skies, said Yanez.“I’m against closing them before work begins,” said Vice Mayor Gabino Aguirre. “I think having a place for the kids to go keeps them off the streets.”Councilman Ray Luna said field users include professional adult teams, “then when kids want to use them they get hurt. . .”Bobkiewicz said such projects are being expedited and Procter asked for assurances that proper posting when the fields are closed during construction.

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