Many Montgomery County residents got a chance to express their opinions about the future of a and their discontent with the government’s process at a public meeting on Monday night, but many felt it was too little too late.
In early March, the Board of Education currently owned by Nick Maravell, who has done organic farming on the lot behind his house on Brickyard Road for 31 years. The county is signing a lease with Montgomery County Schools on Tuesday that will allow the county to send out requests for proposals in hopes of building soccer fields on the land, said Director of the Department of General Services, David Dise.
Monday’s meeting at was the first opportunity for many residents to express their support or opposition of the soccer fields. However, many expressed frustration that their opinions were not taken into consideration in Montgomery County’s process until this point.
“Our request would be that the process be stayed, that the contacts be put on hold, they should not be signed this week,” said Dolores Milmoe of the Audubon Naturalist Society. “The RFP should not go out and we should insist on an appropriate process to determine the fate of that land.”
While a vast majority of the attendees expressed concerns about the development of soccer fields on the lot, two people spoke out in support of soccer fields. One of the people in favor of the fields was Doug Schuessler, the Executive Director of MSI Soccer—a soccer league that has been accused of knowing about the county’s intentions before Maravell was informed.
“The reality is that we do have far too few fields,” said Schuessler, who told the crowd that he first heard about the county’s idea to build soccer fields on the land at the same time Maravell did. “There would be no point in trying to find opportunities to build new fields if we didn’t need them.”
At this point, county officials will meet and talk about different options, seek a traffic impact study and send out request for proposal for a private organization to fund, design, construct and maintain the fields, Dise said.