Fireman’s Field Management Seeks Larger-Than-Expected Reimbursement

Just five months after taking over management of Fireman’s Field, Shaun Alexander Enterprises is seeking a reimbursement from the Town of Purcellville for initial cleanup, repairs and maintenance of the complex that is nearly $30,000 more than the town is contractually obligated to pay.

When the Town Council in November awarded the management contract to the firm, which is owned by former Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins running back Shaun Alexander, it agreed to reimburse up to $10,000 for an initial cleanup of the complex, up to $25,000 for initial repairs to the Bush Tabernacle and up to $25,000 annually for maintenance, repair and upkeep of the complex.

According to an April 9 email from town Parks and Recreation Division Manager Amie Ware to Mayor Kwasi Fraser and Town Manager David Mekarski, Alexander’s company is asking the town for an $87,500 reimbursement—$28,500 for painting and wall structure, $31,000 for stage and concession construction, $19,500 for audio and lighting and $8,500 for renewed inventory.

Alexander wrote in a Feb. 22 email to the Town Council that his company’s goal was to keep expenditures less than $120,000, which is the overall amount it is required to pay the town this year for rent.

“Our goal was to keep the improvement cost [below] $90,000,” he wrote. “We had a plan to make the new improvements [with] no hassle to the town.”

To be eligible for the maximum $60,000 reimbursement, the firm would have had to provide a prioritized list of the cleanup and repair tasks for the town to approve before being performed, according to the contract. When asked if the firm presented the town with those lists before the work was done, neither Councilman Ryan Cool, who led the contract negotiations, nor the firm gave an answer.

“We can get a further response but doing so will not be driven by press timelines and requests, rather by staff and management ability to meet and create a product that serves town, citizens, and then press needs,” Cool wrote in an email on Monday. “An answer will be provided as staff manages and balances several tasks.”

A representative from Alexander’s firm also said that “the town will approve and allocate funding for the improvements through its budget which is at the town’s sole discretion.”

In a March 7 email to Alexander, Ware asked whether the $87,500 had already been spent. Alexander wrote that it had. He also stated that his company had spent more than that. According to Ware’s April 9 email to Fraser, the firm has already spent about $101,500 to get the complex up and running.

Of those expenses, about $60,000 was used for painting and construction in the Bush Tabernacle, $20,000 was paid to Play to Win for operations services and about $3,500 was used for electronic accessories like AV cables, TV wall mounts and surge protectors. Also included in the list are unspecified purchases in the amount of nearly $8,000 to Southeastern Skate Supply and about $6,200 to Houzz, Inc.

In addition to paying for the initial cleanup, improvements and annual maintenance of the complex—whether that ends up being $60,000 or $87,500—the town is also responsible for maintenance of the HVAC system at the Bush Tabernacle. That responsibility previously rested solely on the Purcellville Teen Center, which managed operations in the tabernacle until Alexander’s firm took over in January.

“Taking over the facility January 1 we moved with quickness to clean the tabernacle, remodel the stage, and fix some things that were not up to the historical excellence the town wants and deserves,” a representative from the firm wrote in an email when asked about the reimbursement request. “The Town Council and Shaun Alexander Enterprises, Inc. are communicating and working together to enhance the property and further showcase the historical significance of the complex.”

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