The City of Santa Maria welcomed interested observers to the first meeting of the Multi-Sports Use Field Committee Wednesday afternoon at the Abel Maldonado Community Youth Center.
The goal of the new committee is to identify community needs for new sports facilities, where a multi-field complex could be built within city limits, how to pay for it and a timeline for getting it done.
“As far as people saying hey, just purchase the land, we’re still going to need to look at getting sewer there, the water lines, the electrical”, says Committee member James Davis with the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department, “a lot of the places don’t have that infrastructure so there’s an additional cost in addition to being able to buy the land, put some seed down and get it going.”
Feedback from the community so far has indicated the greatest need is for a multi-field soccer facility.
“We have a need for more fields here in Santa Maria”, says Committee member and local soccer coach Michael Borges with the Coastal Valley Soccer Club, “all of the soccer organizations have paired with One Action Community Coalition to address some of the youth violence issues we’ve had in Santa Maria the last couple of years, so from the soccer component of that plan, any kid that we can take off the streets and put on the field is one more kid that we’re keeping active in a worthwhile activity after school and on the weekend.”
The meeting agenda included scheduling of meetings, review of potential committee candidates, review of proposed complex design, possible grant opportunities, and creation of a timeline for an action plan to report on at December’s City of Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Commission meeting.
The City is seeking funding and land opportunities for more sports fields.
In March, the Santa Maria City Council at a public workshop identified as one of its priorities the need to address inadequate City facilities, specifically a sports complex.
On October 18th, the City Council approved allowing staff to apply for a $1 million State grant to develop more soccer fields.
On September 13th, the City’s Recreation and Parks Commission held a public hearing regarding the public’s interest/support for a field sports complex.
The Commission heard comments from many members of the community regarding the lack of practice and game space needed for a variety of sports, with soccer being the leading group.
The need for a regional facility at one location instead of several was expressed.
After hearing from the public, the Commission designated two Commissioners and staff as a committee.
This committee will be augmented with members of the community with an interest in sports fields at the committee’s discretion.
For additional information please call the Recreation and Parks Department at (805) 925-0951 extension 2260.