EDA approves bonds for Albemarle soccer facility

By Heather Michon


The Fluvanna Economic Development Authority (EDA) unanimously approved a resolution agreeing to issue tax-exempt bonds of up to $3.75 million for the Albemarle-based soccer organization, SOCA.

The nonprofit approached the EDA earlier this year in hopes of receiving funding to help SOCA construct a 50,000-square-foot indoor training facility off Rio Road in Albemarle.

At a public hearing before the vote, Fluvanna resident Sam Patterson argued that the move was “an unacceptable use of our bond issuance authority.”

As he told the Board of Supervisors during public comments at the Sept. 4 meeting, the move “sends all the wrong signals” to the parents and children who participate in the Fluvanna Youth Soccer Association (FYSA). 

In his view, SOCA “dominates” the local soccer scene thanks to paid coaches and superior training facilities. FYSA plays in a donated field at Zion Crossroads, a field they just learned they’re losing to development next September.

He added that the EDA stands to earn so little in facilitating the bond issuance that “I’m shocked we’re still considering it.”

During the discussion ahead of the vote, EDA vice-chair and Chamber of Commerce president Rudy Garcia established that no Fluvanna-based nonprofits had requested bonds and that Fluvanna’s tax dollars would not be part of the funding.

Chair Curtis Putnam said they were acting only as “the issuing agent” between the banks and SOCA. “Fluvanna will not be putting up any money.”

The Fluvanna EDA has the authority to issue up to $10 million in tax-exempt bonds annually. Nonprofits like SOCA can get a better rate from the banks through bond funding, and the EDA will receive an application fee and annual payments from SOCA in return for facilitating the transactions. 

The EDA will make between $4,375 and $5,000 in application fees. 

Under their charter, Virginia’s EDAs work for the benefit “of the Commonwealth, not just the county,” said at-large member Shelley Murphy. There is “a misconception out there that this is just Fluvanna County, and it’s not.”

SOCA Executive Director Matt Wilson showed the committee concept drawings of the proposed facilities, which will include a full-sized indoor playing field that can be configured for up to four games at a time, along with trainers’ rooms, a fitness center, offices, and meeting rooms. 

Wilson estimated that about 100 kids from Fluvanna currently belong to SOCA, and probably an equal number in the adult leagues. 

With the inducement resolution now passed, the next step is approval from the Board of Supervisors, which could happen as early as next week.   

Related Posts

dewi88 cuanslot dragon77 cuan138 enterslots rajacuan megahoki88 ajaib88 warung168 fit188 pusatwin pusatwin slot tambang88 mahkota88 slot99 emas138