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Urbandale Soccer Spat Comes to a Resolution

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URBANDALE, Iowa -- Months of animosity came to an end Tuesday night after the Urbandale City Council approved the plan for how five athletic groups would pay for paving repairs at Walker Johnston Park and the Urbandale Soccer Complex.

The plan calls for each of the five clubs, including the J-Hawk Soccer Club and the Urbandale Soccer Club, to pay $50,000 over the course of 10 years.

This is a reduction in cost as the parks and recreation department had recommended $80,000 per club.

The J-Hawks president, Matt Carver, says that his club only has $5,000 in extra revenue by seasons end, and the $5,000 per year payment would hurt the program.

"It potentially impacts plans we have as far as other improvements," said Carver. "We already have put in irrigation in one of the fields here at the park. We're looking at putting irrigation at the other field in the park to improve that soccer field as well, so that certainly could delay that type of improvement. We are going to persevere, we're going to move forward and we are not going to stop what we are doing to provide low-cost soccer to the Urbandale area."

The city is picking up the rest of the tab on the $1.4 million project for both parking lots.

Carver says the J-Hawks are upset because his club will have to pay in part for the Urbandale Soccer Club's parking lot, where they don't share facilities.

The council voted unanimously on the plan with Carver's father, City Councilman Mike Carver, abstaining from the vote citing a conflict of interest. However, it was determined that Councilman Ron Pogge, a former President of the Urbandale Soccer Club, did not have to recuse himself.

"It's because I have no relationship with them at this time and I've never received any money from them; and under the guidelines from the Urbandale City Council there is no conflict," said Pogee.

An amendment was added that if the J-Hawks pursue adding other fields to their program, the council could waive their $5,000 per year fee so that money could go towards field construction.