United Futbol Academy soccer will continue at the Polo Fields for at least one more year following a recent decision from the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners.
At a work session on Tuesday, July 26, commissioners voted to approve a lease agreement between Forsyth County and United Athletics Inc., “related to the provision of soccer programming at the newly-acquired Polo Fields soccer facility.”
According to Park and Recs Director Jim Pryor, the lease is good for one year with an automatic renewal available.
Previously, UFA paid the county $114,000 each year to use the Polo Fields. The county than in turn paid the former owners of the property $88,000 to lease the fields.
Because the county owns the land, UFA will pay $80,000 directly to them. Per the lease agreement, UFA will also be required to pay for all trash and utility services, maintain the 12 acres of the playable area and bring in portable lights and restrooms for players and guests.
Pryor said the lease will start on Aug. 16, just in time for soccer season to begin.
District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills asked if players would be able to use all playable areas.
At a previous meeting on July 12, Pryor presented a potential map that had a small section in the middle of the Polo Fields to be used and maintained by the county.
At the meeting on July 26, Pryor said that the section had been removed and the playable area would follow the existing fence lines, staying the same size it has always been.
Pryor also said work is being done to get the Polo Fields ready for use, like shaving grass, demolishing dangerous structures, repairing fencing, and fixing potholes in the parking area.
Regarding the equestrian side of the property, Pryor said the previous operator of the site has decided to move, leaving the stables vacant.
To find a tenant, Pryor said his team worked with the procurement department to come up with a letter of interest to be advertised to the public “to bring attention to management companies for a specialized need within the county.”
The equestrian area, comprised of about 9 acres with stables and a riding area, would need a tenant to operate the stable building, maintain the property, set up accounts and pay utilities for the property, and cover all operating expenses for equestrian as well as potential improvements to the property.
He said property improvements could be negotiable with the county depending on what needs to be done.
Pryor also said he wanted to “stay general” in the letter of interest and “take the best proposal that comes forward,” not limiting the kind of equestrian group that applied.
After visiting Wills Park in Alpharetta, which Pryor said has a large equestrian area, he said there were many different kinds of equestrian programs available, and he did not want the county to limit itself to a specific type of tenant.
Pryor said a meeting has been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 16, for anyone who is interested to tour the stables and ask questions about the equestrian side of the Polo Fields.
Commissioners approved the lease agreement between the county and UFA for use of the Polo Fields as well as approved on a time-sensitive basis the letter of interest to be sent to the public to find a tenant for the equestrian portion of the property.
Both votes were approved with a unanimous vote, 4-0, with District 3 Commissioner Todd Levent absent from the meeting.