The county has consistently maintained the Town of Purcellville’s Fireman’s Field since last fall, and it’s looking like it might continue doing so through at least 2024.
The Town Council Tuesday night voted unanimously to approve Town Manager David Mekarski’s $625,000 five-year Fireman’s Field renovation plan, with a condition that the town staff will further detail the costs and timelines for specific repairs. Those include an HVAC repair, a press box rebuild, the installation of new siding and an ADA-compliant bathroom, a scoreboard replacement and bleacher work. Town staff developed the plan because county staff had requested it do so in its initial discussions of possibly resuming maintenance of the complex’s athletic fields. Once the plan is finalized, town staff will present it to the county in hopes that Loudoun’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department will in fact continue maintenance through Dec. 31, 2024.
The council also voted unanimously to approve a $75,000 transfer from the town’s recreation special reserve account to the General Fund Capital Improvement Plan budget for repairs to be completed in the complex this fiscal year, which include a scoreboard replacement, press box maintenance and bleacher maintenance.
According to the five-year renovations plan, $150,000 could be set aside for Fiscal Year 2021, $300,000 for Fiscal Year 2022 and $50,000 each for Fiscal Years 2023-2024.
Even though some projects were outlined in the plan, Vice Mayor Tip Stinnette said it was “stunning” that there was still so much uncertainty regarding what the town will spend the money on. “I get a little nervous when I see us committing $100,000 over a two-year period for maintenance as needed,” he said.
Mekarski said that Public Works Director Buster Nicholson “would be happy to” forward Stinnette a spreadsheet detailing the expenditures that he crafted after going through Fireman’s Field and compiling a comprehensive list of maintenance, safety and general repair items in need of attention. “We itemized each and every element that was identified in that report,” Mekarski said.
While maintenance of Fireman’s Field has been locked up for the entirety of 2019, it wasn’t that way last year. Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, Shaun Alexander Enterprises took over management of the complex, following the county’s 33-year tenure there. But seven months later, Alexander intended to cease those duties, which prompted the town to amend Alexander’s contract to exclude responsibility for the maintenance of the athletic fields.
The town then entered into an agreement with the county that saw its parks and recreation department again take over maintenance of the athletic fields beginning October 2018.