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Forsyth County OKs agreement with United Futbol Academy for Polo Fields

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Soccer (or football, depending on where you’re from) is returning to Forsyth County this fall.

Forsyth County officials have approved a lease agreement with the United Futbol Academy (UFA) to resume athletic services at the Polo Fields, after purchasing the 39-acre property off Majors and Post Road in south Forsyth County for $7.9 million in early July.

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Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Director Jim Pryor said that, under the new agreement, UFA will have the same access to the fields that they had with the previous landowners but will pay the county for use of the land.

“They have leased this property for a long time, leading up to this point,” Pryor said at the County Commission work session July 26. “The county was the go between — between the landowner and UFA.”

UFA was previously paying the county $114,000 a year. The county spent all but $26,000 of that paying property owners for upkeep, maintenance and use of the land.

Now that the county owns the property outright, Pryor and UFA representatives have negotiated a new rate of $80,000 per year, which will have UFA responsible for all trash pickup at the site, utility services, playing field maintenance, and for providing portable restrooms and lights.

“I think this is a good business deal for the county,” Forsyth County Manager Kevin Tanner said.

After Pryor’s presentation, commissioners approved the agreement 4-0, with District 1 Commissioner Molly Cooper attending virtually and District 3 Commissioner Todd Levent absent.

Pryor said the lease agreement will be good for one year, but has the option to be extended further.

County staff are currently working on the property, but UFA should be able to take over the space at the end of August, he said.

During the work session, commissioners also unanimously approved a measure to seek proposals for the Polo Field’s 9-acre equestrian area.

“The company that was operating that site has chosen not to come back, they’ve moved to a different property,” Pryor told the board.

Pryor said the county would advertise a letter seeking proposals for the site from businesses and equine service providers, so that they can hopefully fill the space with a similar company.

“I tried to stay very, very general,” he said. “Because when it comes to equestrian there’s a lot of different areas out there. So, I’m not telling someone they have to board horses or they have to do riding lessons, I’m kind of wide open right now.”

Pryor said that they will also get some consulting help from the equestrian operations manager at Wills Park in Alpharetta, after meeting him at a tour of that park facility.

“He’s actually agreed to come and sit on our committee to help analyze proposals as they come in,” Pryor said.

Forsyth County will host a community meeting for proposals and suggestions on the equestrian area at the Polo Fields Stables on Aug. 16 at 9:30 a.m.

Reach Alexander Popp at 770-847-7404. Follow him on Twitter @Popp2Alex.