Fairhope will move forward with plans for a soccer complex at the corner of County Road 13 and Manley Road. John Avent, manager at Preble Rish in Daphne, told councilors at a work session Monday evening that the plan was for nine soccer fields, including two championship fields and 433 parking spaces.

“It’s going to be a first-class soccer complex,” Avent said.

Preble-Rish will begin preparing bids, which will go out next month, in four separate packages, Avent said. The plan is to have the grass in place by December.

The city’s soccer league is in the process of raising money for the complex’s concession stand and bleachers for the championship fields, to the tune of about $45,000.

“It looks like we’ll be on budget with this, or close to it,” Director of Public Affairs and Recreation Sherry Smith said.

The city budgeted a total of $3 million for the project. Mayor Tim Kant has previously said that $2 million was budgeted for groundwork and $1 million was budgeted for lighting and fencing.
The council did not vote on the project at the meeting, but council approval will be needed to approve bids down the road, Sullivan said.

In its regular meeting, the council approved a site plan for property on the east side of Section Street, just south of Oak Avenue. Approval allows the owners of the property to bring in a mixed-use development, with retail and residential space.

The council also approved an ordinance that would allow 17 Turtles to rent kayaks and canoes out of the Fly Creek fish market. The organization will pay to renovate the space and plans to sign a lease with the city.

The council also approved a new policy for unsupervised minors in city buildings. The new regulations state that anyone 13 or younger must be accompanied by an adult 18 years or older in any city-owned building. The council is making the move on a suggestion by the city’s insurance provider.

The city also received the news Monday that it was given an unqualified opinion in an audit of its fiscal year 2014 books. An unqualified opinion is the highest opinion a city can receive from a firm, Earl Blackmon, of Hartmann, Blackmon and Kilgore. In addition, the city’s bond rating with Standard & Poors was raised to AA+.