Soccer complex proposal would take money from Pima County road repair

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Soccer complex proposal would take money from Pima County road repair

By Cory Marshall. CREATED Jun 16, 2014

TUCSON(KGUN9-TV) -Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry calls a proposal to build a massive multi-soccer field complex,  "the most important strategic sports acquisition made by the county in decades."

In a memo to the Pima County Board of Supervisors sent earlier this month, Huckleberry  announced proposed plans to buy land near Kino Sports Complex and build what would be called, the "Southwest Regional Soccer Complex at the Kino Sports Complex."

"This is to meet a need. You know, our kids like it, it's healthy for them," Assistant County Attorney Nanette Slusser told 9OYS.

According to the memo, the project would use $1.75 million from the $5 million originally allocated for road repair next fiscal year, for a down payment on the land. Huckleberry says the complex would bring in money by bringing regional tournaments to Tucson.

The $8.75 million purchase price would be paid over the course of five installments, including the initial $1.75 million payment.

"Pima County pot holes, just road conditions in general, are a very contentious issue here. Why take money out of a fund that is so desperately needed," Nine On Your Side's Cory Marshall asked Slusser."

"We absolutely agree that there is a huge need to repair the roads and we have an issue with no designated funding source that's adequate to do that," Slusser replied.

Slusser argues the money set aside for next year's road repair is coming from the general fund. The money has been allocated but not voted on.

"It could have been used for anything else, you're saying, why not use it for this," Cory Marshall asked to which Slusser said, "yes."

Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll sees the need for a youth soccer complex but says this is not the way to do it, "I don't agree with the county administrator that you can reduce the county transportation funding by $1.75 million and it won't matter. It does matter."

"From each and every corner of the district I represent I've had all thumbs down," Carroll continued.

The Board of Supervisors will weigh in on the proposal during Tuesday's final budget adoption meeting.