Praise from commission over Field of Dreams legal move

St. Joseph County’s decision to seek the validity of a contract with the city of Three Rivers was roundly applauded during Tuesday’s county commission meeting.

The praise came on the heels of the county’s decision last week to file a complaint for declaratory judgment against the city of Three Rivers. The issue centers on a 17-field sports complex proposed to be developed at the north end of the city.

On the advice of its legal counsel, the county filed the declaratory judgment last week in hopes a judge will issue an opinion once and for all.

Three Rivers-area resident Charlene Zavala said she hopes the board’s action will encourage the city of Three Rivers to consider a different location for the proposed development.

Fabius Township resident Jared Hoffmaster said the so-called Field of Dreams project has the potential to be an economic catalyst to St. Joseph County. He said it could grow the county’s tax base and help fund more needs in the community.

Lockport Township Board Treasurer Mike Friesner said he agrees with Hoffmaster in that the development would benefit area children and provide all the benefits Hoffmaster cited. Friesner, however, said, it’s worth reminding commissioners and the public that most opponents are against the location, not the concept.

The county has pledged $2.8 million in all toward the project. That money, commission chair Allen Balog said, remains in the county’s hands minus the $755,000 allocation for property purchase.

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