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New deal keeps youth soccer on fields in west Forsyth

WEST FORSYTH — It appears a deal has been struck that will allow a popular youth soccer organization to continue using the Polo Fields in west Forsyth.

During a recent meeting, director Jim Pryor and the Forsyth County’s parks and recreation board reviewed the changes to a lease agreement involving the Domenicone family, which owns the property, the county and Cumming-based United Futbol Academy.

Since the fields are zoned residential, a business can’t operate on the property unless it goes through the county.

“That has been re-leased to the soccer group for five years,” Pryor said. “The terms of the lease were changed. The soccer group is now paying us for any of their participants at the Polo Fields, that’s their recreation league. They were only playing us for the selective challenge groups that were playing on our fields.”

The county’s previous lease with the Domenicones and the soccer academy had lapsed.

“They’re going continue to maintain the Polo Fields, but they’re going to pay us a lump sum of $20,000 a year for brokering that lease, for being the third-party broker,” Pryor said.

The nonprofit United Futbol Academy, which was created in 2010 after the merger of two smaller soccer programs, is devoted to providing a developmental soccer structure along with quality instruction for children ages 3-18. Deo Moleka, its executive director of operations, said the new arrangement also calls for rotating field use.

“If you’ve been at the Polo Fields, towards the houses, we’ve had a lot of the small fields [for] the little guys … they asked that we do something about the noise during the weekend games,” Moleka said.

“We’re swapping the fields with small fields that will be more towards Post Road and the bigger field will be near the houses, which will take a lot of the noise [away].”

While the academy must pay more, Moleka said there were no plans to raise rates for participation.

“There was an increase over the next five years that was negotiated. Some will go to the Domenicones and some will go to the county,” he said. “We’re working hard on not increasing the rates, which is never something you want to do.

“As long as we can keep our numbers up and growing, we really don’t want to get into changing the fees.”