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.
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