Soccer field complex funding included in bond issue

Construction of a lighted soccer complex on 14 acres of land donated by Daikin is expected to begin early next year.

The $5 million bond issue under consideration with Fayetteville’s Mayor and Board of Aldermen includes funding for lights and irrigation on the soccer field complex at the Wilson Parkway property that was donated more than a year ago by Daikin as a way to honor Fayetteville employees for their years of service building Goodman and Amana brand heating and air conditioning products.

The donation of these 14 acres next to the Daikin radar range building enabled the city to leverage the $500,000 value of the land as a required local match to receive a local Parks and Recreation Fund Grant awarded by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).

City Administrator Scott Collins and Fayetteville Parks and Recreation Director Chris Mitchell were credited for being instrumental in being awarded the grant on the county’s behalf, with assistance from State Representative Pat Marsh and State Senator Shane Reeves.

With the land donation and the state grant, the city was looking at a $1 million investment from the onset of the project, which also adds to the local economy since elected officials see this as a way of drawing soccer tournaments and tourism dollars from visiting teams.

In June of 2017, then Mayor Jon law initiated talks with Daikin Houston headquarters. “The only thing left to be done when I left office in November 2018 was for Daikin’s board approval in Japan,” Law said last week. The approval and donation of the land was announced last fall.

During those talks, Law stated that the city has long recognized the need for lighted soccer fields with sidewalks, a graveled parking area, fencing, bleachers and signage.

When the bond issue is approved, Parks & Recreation will receive $290,405 from the $5 million bond issue, with $204,385 going toward lighting and the remaining $86,020 being used for irrigation/drainage.

At its Tuesday, Nov. 10 Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, Collins said the final design plans are being completed and the bid process should be finalized in January 2021, pending passage of the bond issue. “As soon as the weather breaks, we will be ready to start work on the complex,” he said, which, according to last year’s reports, is a year later than the original “spring of 2020” expected completion date.