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Milton, Alpharetta make softball, lacrosse more affordable for non-residents

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Milton sports complex

MILTON, Ga. — Milton and Alpharetta have come to an agreement after months of negotiations to make their youth softball and lacrosse programs more affordable for residents of either city.

The Milton City Council approved a memorandum of understanding Nov. 1, officially waiving non-resident fees for Alpharetta youth participating in lacrosse travel teams hosted in Milton parks. Alpharetta adopted the same arrangement last month, waiving non-resident fees for Milton youth participating in its softball programs.

Currently, Alpharetta offers youth recreational and travel softball to its residents through the Alpharetta Youth Softball Association, and Milton offers youth lacrosse through Eagle Stix and North Georgia Recreation.

The agreement is a major step in re-establishing a shared youth sports program that ran between the two cities until January 2019.

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In 2018, the last full year of the joint programming, Milton residents accounted for 14,300 registrations for Alpharetta-based recreation programs. Meanwhile, 413 Alpharetta residents participated in Milton-based park programs.

During that year, the City of Milton paid Alpharetta $453,100 in fees.

But, over the past three years, Milton has gone on a parks spending spree and now comes to the table with more athletic fields in its portfolio. It has spent more than $20 million to acquire more than 400 acres of passive park land through its Greenspace Bond, which has freed up other money to buy ready-made athletic fields.

Milton opens greenspace off Lackey Road formerly belonging to Wolff family

In 2020, Milton paid $1.5 million for an 8-acre site on Cox Road that had athletic fields already laid out. And, in October, the City Council approved a contract for $1.4 million to convert two of the grass fields to all-weather turf.

There will be no transfer of funds between the two cities under this agreement. Alpharetta and Milton also reached a memorandum of understanding for special needs summer camps in May and for football in September.

Johns Creek softball steps up to the plate

Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood highlighted the benefits of having this agreement with Alpharetta.

“For our citizen’s sake, obviously, we’re losing dollars coming from out of the city, but it’s fair to say that our citizens are saving money with other programs, so it’s a benefit to our citizens just as well as it is to other citizens,” Lockwood said.

The agreement states the purpose of the joint venture is to “take another step” in fostering a long-term mutually beneficial relationship between the two cities as it relates to parks and recreation programs and services as a way to better serve residents, offer a wider variety of recreational services and grow the relationship between the cities so similar opportunities can be developed over time.

The next City Council meeting is slated for 6 p.m. Nov. 15 at City Hall.

Reach Chamian Cruz at 770-847-8079. Follow her on Twitter @xchamian.

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