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City, DCTC will work together on fields

Rosemount will get new soccer fields to help ease crowding on its existing fields. The city council on Tuesday approved a license agreement with Dakota County Technical College to build three soccer fields on property owned by the college.

"We feel like this is going to be a real benefit for the parks system," said parks and recreation director Dan Schultz before the council voted.

The council unanimously approved the agreement.

Talks about partnering to build fields have been going on for years. However, this year things fell into place when DCTC had plans drawn up.

The project will include one championship sized soccer field that can be used by older players and adults and two practice fields. The two practice fields can be split into smaller fields for younger children.

The city's contribution to the project will be $450,000 toward construction of the fields, which will be located south of Highway 42 on Akron Avenue. Also, Schultz said the city will provide maintenance and management for the fields.

DCTC will provide the 10 acre parcel the fields will be built on, a parking lot for the facility and additional funds to complete the project.

"We're excited for the community to come out and enjoy our campus," said Randy Anderson, DCTC vice president of finance and operations, at the council meeting.

The agreement, which will span 20 years, allows DCTC to use the field 150 minutes a day before 5 p.m., unlimited daytime use before 5 p.m. during August and up to 14 games on one field per year. The college has women's and men's collegiate teams that will use the fields.

The majority of the time the city will have use of the fields for its programs, Schultz said. He added that the schedule will work out well because the college will use the fields before the city usually schedules anything.

Schultz said the construction of the fields will ease overcrowding on the city's other fields. He said the fields built at DCTC will be used for soccer, freeing up other field space so it can be used by other programs such as lacrosse and football.

Area athletic organizations have been requesting the city build more athletic facilities for years because current facilities are over crowded. In April a referendum for a 57 acre outdoor athletic complex failed. Teams may be able to use the new fields as early as next fall but most likely in the spring of 2010.