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Young soccer players in Eden will have two additional fields when the season begins May 1.

The Town Board Wednesday night approved a zoning change for about five acres at 2378 West Church Street to allow installation of the fields.

The property is owned by Five VL Farms, whose president is Vincent V. Vacco, a town councilman.

Michael Best, treasurer of the Youth of Eden Soccer Club and the Eden-North Collins travel team, said the teams, which have 550 players, have agreed to pay the taxes on the property, expected to amount to about $1,000, but otherwise Vacco is not making any money on the deal.

"He's doing us a favor," Best said. "It's a good deal for us because, otherwise, we'd have no place to go."

The fields, which need very little work to be ready to play on, will give the program a total of six, Best said.

Vacco, who abstained from voting, has agreed to mow and maintain the fields at no charge and has also paid the various fees to date.

While he won't make any money on the soccer fields directly, he did acknowledge that he hopes the arrangement will benefit the adjacent Eden Driving Range, which he also owns.

"Hopefully when parents drop their kids off for soccer practice they'll hit a bucket of (golf) balls while they're waiting," Vacco said.

The zoning change is from Suburban Residential to Rural Residential, which allows for bigger lots and athletic fields.

In other action, the board:

Praised the efforts of emergency service providers, especially during the April 3 snowstorm when there were numerous accidents and downed power lines. There are more than 160 volunteers in the town, including firefighters, the rescue squad, police reserves and disaster preparedness personnel, Councilwoman Mary Lou Pew noted.

Went on record in favor of a proposed $1,000 federal tax credit for volunteer firefighters and emergency service crews.

Went on record opposing the county comptroller's decision to make sales tax payments quarterly rather than monthly.

Approved the appointment of Tim Schnaufer as chairman of the Historic Review Board and reappointment of Jane Clemens as a member.


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