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RA Votes to Give $50K To SLHS Turf Effort

Board says donation to two synthetic turf fields at South Lakes High School shows support of the community's children.

Reston Association's Board of Directors voted Thursday to give no more than at South Lakes High School.

The donation depends on board approval of an upcoming memorandum of understanding between the partners (SLHS, Reston Youth Association Football, Reston Community Center and Reston Soccer) that better understands how RA will be able to use the fields.

RA says its donation will come from a budget amendment. The board also discussed its support being contingent on the partners raising enough money for two fields at the school, not one.

but it is rescinding that offer, as well as a plan approved last year to have the donation come from non-resident fees. The board discussed several pools of money from which the $50,000 could be pulled.

Reston Soccer Association president Richard Uhrig, one of three youth sports leaders to speak to the board Thursday, urged the directors to reconsider and keep their contribution at $100,000. Reston Soccer said earlier this year it would give $250,000, but Uhrig did not elaborate last night if the number still stands.

"Reston Soccer is looking to make a substantial contribution," he said. "We need everyone to participate. I would ask you consider the $100,000 and hold to that number. Turfing the field is the best possible thing we can do - we can play on it year-round, many hours a week, and in rainy weather. I please urge you to support the project to the maximum extent you can."

Additionally, Reston Community Center has offered $100,000 and Reston Youth Association football has offered $25,000. The rest of the expected $1.4 million for a stadium field, a practice field, lighting and other improvements, will be paid through an expected county grant and other money from a parks bond issue that passed in November.

Even though RA does not administer sports programs, it does offer a full slate of summer camps. The board members discussed Thursday that without making a contribution, they feared they would be locked out of getting to use the field for summer camps. 

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the partners will outline the level of participation each group will be entitled.

South Lakes Director Richard Chew, the lone dissenter in the final vote, brought up the point - what is RA really purchasing?

"At the $50,000 contribution level, what is the realistic expectation of time we will be allowed?" he asked the board members. "That is not a terribly significant amount. We might be able to walk across the field at night?"

"We may have the cash, but [RA] has other needs as well. This might be a nice PR move, but this is not what we are here to do. We are here to spend members' money wisely," he said.

Several other board members said the contribution - which RA attorney David Chadwick says is allowable under RA by-laws - is more about showing support for the community.

"$50,000 is not a lot," said at-large director Michael Sanio. "It is about Reston and the support of our kids. I would want them on the field and not in the street or somewhere else."

The board also voted to table a decision to donate $20,000 to an upcoming movie project for Reston's 50th anniversary.

To read about the county's synthetic fields, click here. To read the county's policy on allocating field time to community partners, click here.

To keep up with all Reston Association news, click here to subscribe to Reston Patch's free daily newsletter.

John Farrell December 16, 2012 at 04:34 PM
There you go again, Bill, the Fox Mill fields are NOT in Reston. (Crabtee principally supported Vienna Little League which had already named 2 other fields after him. But apparently every baseball field in Fairfax County needs to be named after Fred.) One of the very few FCPA properties actually in Reston, the South Lakes Drive soccer field is bare dirt. [Is that because it's used principally by Latinos on Sunday mornings, Bill?] The softball(?) field has no irrigation. The fences are too short for slow pitch and the infield is too big for fast pitch. That hasn't change in 15 years. The facts demonstrate that FCPA has failed Restonians and continues to fail Restonians. Bill's bad geography and word games would make Frank Lunt proud. Reston needs a FCPA representative who won't demand that Reston youth sports programs pay for facilities that should have been provided entirely with the proffer money generated in Reston and bond money voted in with Reston's votes. When will we get that?
Bill Bouie December 16, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Have a nice day John. It is pretty easy to throw stones from the sidelines when you are not responsible, but some things never change. Enjoy your holidays and try to smile sometimes.
Bill Bouie December 16, 2012 at 06:39 PM
John, FCPA is fully funding the practice field at SLHS and adding lights. I beg to differ with you on your other comments but it will make no difference to you anyway.
John Farrell December 17, 2012 at 01:34 AM
If FCPA were fully funding the RYFA field there would be no need to scarf $250,000 from RSA, $100,000 from RCC (on whose advisory board you sit, any conflict of interest there?) and $50,000 from RA. Don't try the shell game that their money is going toward the stadium field. Money is fungible. Reston continues to get the short end from FCPS too. Both those fields should be built without local contribution as a make-up contribution for the years of neglect toward Reston by all County agencies. The inequity of FCPA and FCPS toward Reston is exacerbate when one realizes that Reston pays far more into the County's coffers than the County ever spend insides RA's boundaries. And you let that happen, Bill.
John Farrell December 17, 2012 at 01:43 AM
I offerred to serve on RA's Board and you opposed me, Bill. What never changes is Reston's getting shorted by FCPA. I'm laughing all the time, Bill, especially after I read another of your excuses for neglecting Reston or remember the foolishness of the Browns Chapel megagym and parking garage.

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