Land sale puts Sparta sports out of the game

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:14

    Sparta-Sparta Township is currently looking for a new home for its soccer and lacrosse fields. Just off of White Lake Road not far from the Super Self-Storage Center sit four small sport fields. In addition to being used for the youngest age division of the Sparta Soccer Club, the territory also serves as the only lacrosse field in the township. For over 15 years, Sparta has leased this property from a private owner. Recently, the owner sold the property and township officials do not foresee the municipality continuing the lease. "I assume that the new owner will be doing some kind of development," said Sparta Township Manager Henry Underhill about the sale. Although he does not know an exact date that the township will no longer be allowed to use the fields, Underhill estimates that it could be as soon as next year. "We are currently looking at ways to replace these fields," said Sparta Director of Parks and Recreation Virginia Mohr earlier this week. However, she explained, the planning is still in its infancy stages. According to both Mohr and Underhill, one possible location for building replacement fields would be on the 60 acres of land further down the road in White Lake that Sparta Township recently acquired. "Sparta has purchased land where the beach club is. We just haven't installed any grass and fields for sporting events yet," said Underhill. "To my knowledge, there are no plans to build fields anytime within 2004," said Mohr. They also both stated that the grating and planting involved with building a field could certainly take over a year for a field to be usable because grass needs to be allowed to grow for a year in order sets roots. Mohr stated that her department would look at temporary solutions if Sparta Township is kicked off of the fields in the near future. "Maybe there is other space out there that could accommodate the program," said Mohr. "We'll have to see what happens." "The thing that is nice about the fields that we have now are that they provide enough space to hold several games at once," said Underhill. "As we plan to find alternatives, the ideal goal would be to keep that same amount of space."