A spring soccer league is wrapping up at the Independence Athletic Complex, and Park and Recreation Department officials said they expect the baseball and softball fields to be in use for the first time next summer, 2010.

A spring soccer league is wrapping up at the Independence Athletic Complex, and Park and Recreation Department officials said they expect the baseball and softball fields to be in use for the first time next summer, 2010.
Eric Urfer, Parks and Recreation director, said the complex at 17800 Salisbury Road, 1/2 mile east of Missouri 291 and Salisbury Road, has hosted a spring soccer league on eight soccer fields at the 165-acre, multi-field, multi-sport park.
The complex officially opened last fall, but because of problems with the grass at the complex, the fields went unused until this spring’s youth soccer league.
L.B. Enterprises filed a lawsuit in April 2008 against Independence claiming a breach of contract after Independence refused to pay LBE for work on grass turf installed at the complex’s baseball and softball fields.
According to court records, the case is scheduled for jury trial in January.
“The major issue we had there was that the turf did not meet our specifications,” Urfer said.
The poor condition of the grass prohibited the city to allow use of the fields until this spring, more than a year behind schedule.
“I’ll tell you, we appreciate the patience of our residents,” Urfer said, adding more than 1.5 miles of walking trails, a playground and a picnic pavilion are now open to the general public.
Urfer said parks and recreation staff has since last year been working on turf development and have “the fields in wonderful condition.”
“Our internal staff has done a great job of getting the fields ready,” he said, adding that baseball and softball won’t be played on the two baseball and three softball fields this summer because “we wanted to give (the fields) one more growing season.”
This fall, football and fall soccer will also make their debut at the complex, Urfer said.
“We have a lot of work we are going to be doing,” Urfer said.