Nearly three months after the city of Auburn introduced a plan to replace the grass playing surface at Falcon Park with artificial turf, the city council voted Thursday to unanimously approve the project.
The green light for the project came by way of an approval of a contract with Cayuga Community College, which gives the college the right to use the new field for its athletic teams in exchange for paying the city annual rent. The project was first introduced in July as a way for CCC to provide better facilities for its student athletes, while the city would get more use out of the park by turning it into a multi-use facility with the addition of the turf.
"This project has come together rather quickly although the concept of the project has been ongoing for a little bit over a year," City Manager Jeff Dygert said. "It's a great example of cooperation between local public entities that will have a great impact on the community."
The contract between the city and college will run for 20 years, beginning on Jan. 1, 2019, and ending Dec. 31, 2038. During the first five years, CCC will annually pay the city $335,000. The next 10 years, rent will go up to $350,000 a year and then the college will pay $190,000 for the remaining five years, for a total of $6.125 million. Those payments will cover the $3 million bond the city took out to finance the project — which is estimated to cost around $2.1 million — and operating and maintenance expenses the city will incur.