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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 14, 2012 at 09:30 PM
The fields at Brown's Chapel owned by RA are not renovated and not funded. There's a mile of trials on RA land that are unfinished and unfunded. But Sanio, Collins, Rostant, Seigal et al give into the FCPA con game that it does not have enough money from existing millions of proffer money from Reston projects and even more millions in FCPA bond issues to build these fields and light them. Restonians have received no where near their fair share of facilities and programs from FCPA and we have no one to blame but the FCPA Hunter Mill representative and the person who appointed that representative. RSA should not have to pony up $250,000 for these fields. Their members have paid more than enough in local taxes to get these fields built by FCPA. RSA should be able to use that $250,000 for scholarships for kids who can't afford the entry fees or for other programs to grow their sport. When does Reston stop getting the short end of the rope from the County and its agencies?
Bill Bouie December 15, 2012 at 02:00 PM
John, again it is obvious that you have no idea what programs and facilities have been provided from FCPA into the Hunter Mill District and the area in the past few years. I am so sorry that you have missed the ceremonies for the opening of a newly refurbished Lake Fairfax where over $17M has been spent to upgrade the facility with a new administration building, new turf fields, renovated camp grounds, expanded water mine, new bath houses, new boat house with boardwalk and fishing pier, new covered picnic pavilions for family and public events, and a new trail system. This does not include the $1.3 million for the new skate park that just opened. On the plan in the next two years is another expansion of the water mine and hopefully more land acquisition to add to the park. We also have all of the improvements and lights at Stratton Woods park with more improvements coming this spring with the addition of handball/racquetball courts, new sand volleyball courts, and move covered picnic pavilion areas in the park. Arrowbrook Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the county and that $18M park was provided as a proffer with no additional public dollars. The only way that FCPA will build on a school property is in a two field configuration in which the school (booster groups, youth groups, etc.) build the stadium field and if there is enough room, FCPA will build the other field for community use but schools use during the day for Phys. Ed.
Bill Bouie December 15, 2012 at 02:16 PM
In addition at South Lakes community field will be an oversized field and will also have lights. This can serve as a practice facility for RYFA so that they will have a place to practice under the lights for the first time. Schools and the community organizations are to be applauded for coming up with this agreement and all will be a party to a MOU for usage. RA and RCC will be able to use these fields during the summer for their camp programs. They made a true community investment for the good of the entire Reston community. The only way that we can provide these facilities in a timely manner is with these partnerships. As far as the future is concerned, we are working with the developers on what their contributions might be as a result of rail and development and when those negotiations are final they will be made public. Coming up this spring will be the Master Planning of Baron Cameron Park in which the public will be engaged a multiple of times to get their input on what is planned for that park. It has been a long time coming. You continue to bash the conditions at Baron Cameron, but that is a one trick pony and your only concern is about the baseball diamonds. RA and RLL are working to fix those fields and they will be completed over the next couple of years. There will be other opportunities in Reston and Hunter Mill as funds become available, we have defined projects ready to go.
Bill Bouie December 15, 2012 at 02:23 PM
For many years, Reston and Hunter Mill did not get their fair share of the recreational dollars, but we have been fully engaged and the improvements have been dramatic and the citizens have appreciated it and there is more to come. We are also about to embark on our 10 year county wide Needs Assessment and I will make sure to engage you when we are in that process so that you can contribute your thoughts. If you want to help, write the Board of Supervisors and let them know that we need a sustainable and consistent contribution to parks. We have the best park system in the United States and we need your support to maintain that standard. Thank you in advance for your support. Bill Bouie Fairfax County Park Authority Chairman Hunter Mill District Representative
Bill Bouie December 15, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Oh yes John, I forgot to mention the Mastenbrook Grants to Reston Little League for the new batting cages and pitching tunnel at Fred Crabtree Park, and the $365,000 contribution from FCPA to build the Concession Stand and bathrooms at Crabtree. If I counted correctly, we have touched and improved every piece of FCPA property in Restonin the past 3 years with the exception of Town Green, South Lakes Drive (which has had improvements in the past 5 years), and Hunters Woods Park which we schedule, but is maintained by RA. I would say that it pretty comprehensive. Have a nice day John.
John Farrell December 16, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Playing the same word games all over again, Bill Hunter Mill is not Reston. Lake Fairfax is not Reston. Stratton Woods is not Reston. Arrowbrook is not Reston; its closer to Loudoun than Reston. FCPA must fully fund the practice field at South Lakes.
John Farrell December 16, 2012 at 04:08 PM
I've never mention Baron Cameron, Bill I've written about Browns Chapel which your mega-gym and parking garage fiasco would have merged into Baron Cameron, so I understand your confusion. My concerns include the unfinished trails,indoor tennis and a 50 meter indoor pool that will serve RA members. The proffer money from the coming development can pay for them if it all goes to RA and not FCPA to be diverted to communities other than Reston. But for the 2 years we served on PPAC together you insisted that RA couldn't get that money. You were wrong. Why would any Restonian oppose recreational proffer money going to RA and insist that the money only go to FCPA? The renovations of the Browns Chapel field should have been completed already, not be continually postponed while RA money is diverted to improve County land.
John Farrell December 16, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Even during your tenure on FCPA, Reston continues to get shorted. Recreational proffers from projects in Reston need to stay in Reston - not Lake Fairfax, not Stratton Woods, not Arrowbrook all of which are located and design to serve communities other than Reston.
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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