East Ridge, league reach soccer deal

East Ridge, league reach soccer deal

February 29th, 2012 by Adam Poulisse in News

East Ridge City Manager Tim Gobble.

Photo by Miranda Harple

A mediation Tuesday led to a long-awaited settlement between East Ridge and East Ridge Soccer Association.

The settlement states that only the East Ridge Soccer Association's select teams will be allowed to access four fields at Camp Jordan through July 31, a news release said.

After July 31, the association's select soccer teams will move to an unspecified location that's outside the city limits.

Until then, East Ridge and East Ridge Association "agreed to a mutual distribution of the equipment in a manner which allows both the city of East Ridge and ERSA to fully implement their respective soccer programs and which distribution is acceptable to both parties," the news release said.

There was about $100,000 worth of soccer equipment involved in the dispute.

The settlement eliminates the need for a trial in Hamilton County Chancery Court, which was originally scheduled for today.

The city started a soccer league of its own after the independent soccer association refused to operate under the authority of East Ridge's new Parks and Recreation Department.

At the end of January, the city had all of Camp Jordan's locks rekeyed after learning some league members were planning to take the equipment -- which city officials say belongs to East Ridge taxpayers.

While both parties agreed to not comment on the settlement outside what was stated in the news release, City Manager Tim Gobble said he can now focus on Jordan Park's future, which includes making East Ridge the No. 1 soccer capital of the state.

The plan calls for expanding the area to hold as many as 20 fields, Gobble said.

"We're wanting to keep up with the pace we've been seeing in other areas," he said.

East Ridge Soccer Association is currently registering players for a spring recreation league that will also take place outside of East Ridge, the news release said.