Loudoun County and the Town of Purcellville are currently negotiating the terms for renewing an agreement for the management of Fireman’s Field.
As the first step in the process, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors earlier this month approved a motion by a vote of 8-0-1 to enter a five-year contract for the maintenance of Fireman’s Field. Supervisor Matt Letourneau (R-Dulles) was absent for the vote.
A county staff report indicates the agreement is with the understanding that the county will maintain the baseball field and Purcellville will bear the responsibility and maintenance costs for the buildings, structures, grounds, stands, fencing, lights, capital improvements and upgrades.
This comes after the Town of Purcellville’s attempt in 2017 to monetize Fireman’s Field by entering a contract with Shaun Alexander Enterprises and Play to Win LLC to manage the entire Fireman’s Field complex, including Bush Tabernacle.
However, six months after the contract began, Play to Win LLC terminated its part of the contract, which left Shaun Alexander and the town to try and work out a deal.
Alexander currently has a five-year contract that began Jan. 1, 2018, to manage Bush Tabernacle with Phillip Message as the subcontractor. The county was asked to return and manage the baseball field, with the current contract set to expire Dec. 31, 2019.
According to the county’s staff report, in the past the majority of expenses for upkeep, including some large capital expenses, were borne by the county even though the facility is a town asset.
County staff informed the town that any consideration for an extension of agreement would include a financial commitment from the town for improvements to the facility.
The town contracted for a professional general structural inspection assessment of the major facility components in order to develop a five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) budget of $625,000. Town Council approved $75,000 in its fiscal 2021 CIP.
After county staff completed an internal assessment, they believe that significantly more funding would be needed to renovate or upgrade the facility over the next five years. Expenses would include the restroom, concession building and press box, according the the report.
“The county can program the facility based upon the current condition assessment predicated that the town continues to invest in their proposed CIP timeline. However, the agreement allows either party to terminate the contract should a material breach like this occur,” the report states.
Town Manager David Mekarski told Town Council Dec. 10 staff has begun the negotiation process with the county. An update will be presented to Town Council “hopefully in January, but the timing is dependent on correspondence from the county,” Mekarski said.