Pasco hopes to score a grant for new soccer fields next year.
The city council unanimously decided Monday to apply for a state grant to cover half the cost of a proposed east Pasco soccer complex.
The complex and eight fields, estimated to cost about $800,000, would be located south of the Tri-Cities Airport and east of Sun Willows Golf Course and would replace the four fields at Road 36.
City Manager Gary Crutchfield said the grant would make the new fields possible.
Councilman Al Yenney said he would be inclined to put off the additional soccer fields until 2012. However, he doesn't think the state grant will exist then.
The city would need to chip in $400,000 for the complex, said Rick Terway, city administrative and community services director.
He proposed using $150,000 from the city's park development fund, $150,000 from the city's 2011 federal Community Development Block Grant program and $100,000 from the city's capital improvement fund.
The city's planning commission is in the process of determining how the city should divvy up the federal block grant. City staff's recommendation is to approve $131,300 for the soccer complex.
The capital improvement dollars already were budgeted to purchase land for a new soccer complex, Crutchfield said. However, land ended up being too costly.
The city has a no-cost lease from the Port of Pasco for the Road 36 fields. As part of the agreement, the city improves and maintains the fields, Crutchfield said.
The port would give the city a similar agreement for the new complex, he said. The port wants to open up the Road 36 fields to development.
Pasco spends $30,000 maintaining the four Road 36 fields, Terway said. The new complex likely would cost $55,000 because the fields would be more difficult to maintain because the city lacks space to rotate fields.
The Pasco Soccer League has told the city it could increase its league by 30 percent if more fields were available, Terway said.
The league already has 44 teams and about 880 players.
Yenney said he would like to keep the Road 36 fields open as long as possible in addition to the proposed fields.
w Councilman Bob Hoffmann said it was impressive that the city has higher revenues and lower expenses for the first half of this year compared to last year.
The city may be able to avoid using its reserves if the trend continues, he said. The city balanced its $30 million budget by using $700,000 from its reserves.
The revenue from licenses and permits is already about $77,000 over what the city budgeted to receive for the whole year.
Crutchfield said an increasing number of building permits, especially for new homes, increased that revenue. The city issued more than 300 building permits in the first half of this year. It issued 350 total last year.
However, both the permit and sales tax revenue likely will decline as the year continues, he said.
"The federal tax incentives aren't on the table any more," Crutchfield said.