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Council approves turf deal for Schmitz-Maki Arena

Farmington Youth Lacrosse Association players will have a dry option for spring practice. The city council last week approved a rental agreement with the FYLA to install turf in the Schmitz-Maki hockey arena during April and May.

“In the past, Minnesota weather has made it difficult to have consistent practices,” said Sarah Juncker, vice president of FYLA and mother of three lacrosse players. “At times up to 60 percent of the practices were cancelled due to weather. This will definitely allow us time to grow the program.”

The city was happy with the arrangement, since the hockey arena is mostly unused in April and May.

“As staff, we see this as a win-win,” said city administrator David McKnight.

The FYLA approached the city last year offering to purchase the turf and handle storage during the off months until the association pays off the $30,000 loan over the next four to five years. During that time, the rental rate of $80 per hour will be split with $20 going to the city for staffing and operating expenses and $60 going to the association for loan repayment.

After that time, the FYLA will donate the turf to the city and the rental fee will change with $50 going to the city and $30 to the association. The city will assume responsibility of the turf and use $30 of the fee as a fund for repairing and/or replacing the turf.

The association currently has teams from third to eighth grade, but Juncker said they have been wanting to start a program for younger children and this arrangement may help them accomplish that goal.