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Group wants soccer complex east of Plymouth

February 9, 2011

PLYMOUTH — Build it and they will come, isn’t the problem for the Plymouth Youth Soccer programs.
The fact is “they” are already here — hundreds of young kids ready to play. The league now wants to provide them a set of new fields to play on. Duane Culp and Curt Feece – representing the Plymouth Youth Soccer and Travel Soccer leagues came before the Marshall County Commissioners to outline the groups’ plans to put together a soccer field complex on the east side of Plymouth.
The group is hoping to work out a lease agreement with the County for land it owns to the east of Shady Rest Home, north of Lincolnway. The fields would border Shady Rest on one side and the Langfeldt farm on the other.
Currently the league plays on school fields near Plymouth High School and Riverside Intermediate School. While the arrangement has been one that has worked for many years, both sides are seeking a solution that would help each other. The schools will find it necessary to charge money to the league for the use of the fields and the league would prefer to use that money to have fields of their own.
“We’ve simply outgrown everything,” said Feece of the current arrangement with the schools. “We have at least 120 families that play in our travel program. Any weekend when there are home games it’s likely there are 2,000 to 2,300 kids playing soccer here.”
Feece says that current facilities don’t allow the leagues to have a normal fundraiser – soccer tournaments — that many other leagues use to build and maintain their own facilities. The increased revenue from those tournaments would be a major source of funding for the leagues.
Paul and Todd Langfeldt, who own and run businesses at the property next to the proposed site, have concerns regarding their operations being affected by the fields and the fields being affected by their operations, such as dust and smells associated with grain operations, dairy farming and an excavating business that the family operates in the area. There was also a concern for the increase in traffic in the area.
Langfeldt had the concern that both sides might become frustrated over activities that conflicted with each other.
Feece and Culp had begun initial talks with the Langfeldts regarding the possibility of the league using the area and pledged to work with them further to ensure an understanding.
Commissioner Greg Compton also asked Feece and Culp to work up a budget to show if the plan was feasible. Feece said that before the next discussion of the matter the leagues would present a preliminary business plan and also said the leagues would make the pledge that the project would be done right or not done at all and said they were willing to work out a lease agreement that would be beneficial to the county if the group had not begun development in a five year period.

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