Youth sports fields could be built on city-owned land near the old Holly Sugar plant in northern Tracy by 2012 under a timeline unveiled at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
The city has already begun to spend an estimated $8 million to get the fields ready to build out of the $11 million kitty set aside for the fields.
The city has hired a consultant to test the soil, which is high in boron and alkaline, the consultant found, a problem for growing grass that can be fixed by watering deeply and adding organic materials, a city report states.
From now until 2011, when roads and sewer, water and storm drains are expected to be finished, the city expects to hit more than a dozen "milestones" to complete the fields.
The city hopes youth sports leagues will actually build the fields when the time comes, as they have offered to do so for more than a decade. Whether all the leagues have the money and know-how to build the fields remains to be seen, though city officials certainly hope so.
Whether the leagues can maintain the fields is also an unanswered question. The city estimates it’ll cost $500,000 a year to maintain the first 50-acre patch of fields built, and Tracy plans 150 acres of fields.
City officials hope to enter into contracts with various leagues that spell out their responsibilities, as well as those of the city. Key points the city needs to iron out are laws that require the city to pay prevailing wages for city projects and liability should someone get injured.