The Montesano Youth Soccer Club will donate funds to the City of Montesano for the construction of a new soccer field at Beacon Park.
The club had pledged to donate at least $10,000 to the project, which the city has estimated will cost about $25,000 to complete. (The club’s donation is $5,000, and a family within the club will donate the additional $5,000.)
At $25,000 the project would construct a U-19 field and an irrigation system to maintain the grounds. The city plans to use public works staff to build a separate U-10 field. Fields are different sizes to match different age groups.
Initially, the city had said the fields would be ready for spring, but the club has pledged to wait until fall 2017 before playing there.
“The club has told me they were planning to not use the field in the spring to allow the grass to take root, and they’ll plan to use it in the fall,” Montesano Mayor Vini Samuel said.
On July 26, the city council gave the mayor its approval to seek funding for the project, specifically adding that Samuel can use real estate excise tax (REET) funds to make up the difference. Samuel then, and again during the Aug. 9 meeting, stated she hoped the soccer club could raise funds exceeding the $10,000 pledge.
“I am happy to report that the club has confirmed they will at least raise the money to contribute $10,000, and I have asked them to please get to $25,000, which they said they would try to do,” Samuel said.
The club has placed conditions on its donation to the city. The first condition is that the club be allowed to sell advertising plaques to further fund the project and future improvements. The second condition would designate the fields for the club.
“They’ve asked to be able to sell the sponsorship plaques like they have at Crate and Nelson and Vessey,” Samuel explained. “And since they’re giving us the money, the conditions on the money is that it is clearly a public park, but it is designated for soccer use, like what we do at Vessey and Nelson.
“Those are the terms of the commitment to raise the money.”
Quigg Bros. Inc. currently holds the bid for a wetlands mitigation project at Beacon Park. The city plans to issue a “change order” to add the fields to the scope of work already underway by Quigg Bros. Inc. By approving the project now and adding the project to Quigg Bros. Inc. the city saved some $5,000 in mobilization costs it would have had to pay had the project been held.
The new fields have been a long time coming. A bond measure for multiple fields, concession stands and bathrooms, repeatedly failed to earn enough votes to become a reality (not netting at least 60 percent for the “supermajority” required to pass) in the early 2000s. And a field built at the park in the past did not have appropriate irrigation and became unusable.
Becky Scott, Montesano Youth Soccer president, has been along for much of the journey for the embattled soccer fields.
“I think it’s great that we’re finally moving forward with this project,” Scott said. “There’s a lot of us in the room I think that have been doing this for a very long time.”
Councilman Ian Cope commended the project.
“As someone who has coached in Montesano Youth Soccer and as someone who has seen two daughters go through it — I’ve seen the practices go late into the night because the fields had to be shared between multiple teams, and I’ve seen the fields get worn down at the end of the year — this is just a great thing,” Cope said.
Councilman Tyler Trimble also has a personal connection to the project.
“I benefited from the soccer club during my childhood in Montesano, so it’s good to see us working together on a project that was a dream, is a dream, and will become a dream,” Trimble said. “Thank you.”