City Parks and Recreation Department to create a Sports Field Use Policy
At Tuesday’s Council Meeting, there was a discussion item on the need for new policy related to the use of City sports fields including the ones under construction at 1849 Park which opens this fall.
Parks and Recreation Director James Hemenes presented an outline of the items that will be considered with a new policy and several preliminary staff recommendations including priority to local youth sports groups, field use limits between 10-20 hours per week and allowing up to three tournaments a year to give priority to soccer league practice. The park design focused on practice space for soccer leagues and game play for football. Determining how to provide a priority use for Pflugerville residents, appropriate allocation of space to different groups, ongoing maintenance of the park investment and an appropriate level of cost recovery are all key factors.
“The Parks and Recreation Commission and Parks and Recreation Department staff seek council guidance on the most equitable method to set up our field use policies,” Director James Hemenes said. “Several local sports leagues use our current facilities and want to be able to do the same with 1849 Park. In addition to creating a fair and equitable method for allocating space, the amount of cost recovery desired by council for rate models needs to be defined. Our research has provided us with a series of options and the next step is to meet with league presidents to compile the best recommendation for the Council based on teamwork and collaboration with all affected entities and users.”
The goal is to have the plan finalized by summer in time for fall sport league registration and games. The Parks and Recreation bond approved by voters in the 2014 election allocated funding for the sports complex, and the current phase 1 of construction is nearing completion. The 1849 Field Use policy will return on a future city council agenda.