City parks permitting fences to secure soccer fields | News

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City parks permitting fences to secure soccer fields
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The city is working with local soccer associations in allowing them to install fences to secure fields in exchange for help in maintaining the grounds.

Ed Austin Regional Park is the first that is working on a contract with the Arlington Football Club to fence seven fields. The club would pay for the fencing.

The city has arrangements with organizations when it comes to using city facilities, said Parks and Recreation spokesperson Pam Roman.

The new arrangement would give the soccer clubs priority use during the season, but not exclusive use.

"For the most part the fence is not locked, the field is not off limits to the public," Roman said.

Cody Jeffcoat is a former soccer coach who agrees with installing fences, but wants assurances the general public does not  lose out in being able to use  the fields. 

Roman says arrangement does help free up tax dollars for park maintenance.

David Hickox with the Arlington Football Club says fences not only promote safety, but also protect investments the groups make in keeping the fields in shape.

The city says other parks are looking at similar arrangements. The fences at Ed Austin Regional Park are expected to be in place before the spring soccer season beings in February.

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