Kokomo Files Suit Over StadiumPosted: Updated:
The city of Kokomo has filed legal action against the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and Director David Kane. The city says the department took "unprecedented action" in halting construction of Kokomo Municipal Stadium. The department says Kokomo is still not in compliance with federal requirements, which could cost the state millions of dollars in grant funding. You can read the complaint by clicking here.
January 26, 2015
Kokomo, Ind. -- The City of Kokomo has filed legal action against Director David Kane and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security seeking declaratory and injunctive relief in an effort to continue building the Kokomo Municipal Stadium.
The complaint, filed in the Marion County Environmental Court, states that, "IDHS has no right to prevent the proposed construction on the Parcels that comply with the Agreed Terms. The Agreed Terms, which IDHS and the City agreed to govern the future use of the Parcels, allow the City to build on the Parcels pursuant to and consistent with the Redesign." The stadium project encompasses approximately 70 total parcels—eight of which have had construction halted due to IDHS.
The suit comes after months of communication with IDHS officials, including a July 17, 2014 letter from the City of Kokomo to IDHS requesting a meeting to address any concerns the agency might have with the project. IDHS ignored the City’s request, and the letter, for months. The City and its contractors had over 25 communications with IDHS, IDEM, and DNR regarding the stadium and flood mitigation between July and mid-October in which no concerns were expressed by the State. Beginning in mid-October, IDHS took unprecedented action in interfering with the construction.
"We have honored our agreement with IDHS and it is unfortunate that the City of Kokomo has to file this legal action," said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight. "Kokomo Municipal Stadium is a catalyst for economic growth. Local high schools and the Prospect League Kokomo Jackrabbits will call it home. It is the center of nearly $40 million in investments, job creation and economic development. IDHS's actions are big government overreach at its worst."
Source: City of Kokomo
January 26, 2015
The City of Kokomo is still not in compliance with the baseball stadium construction according to the grant agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA reinforced this decision with a letter on January 22, 2015. Since October, IDHS has attempted to find solutions so the baseball stadium could move forward.
The agency does not wish to halt economic development, but at the same time, the terms of the grant agreement are clear and IDHS will not risk FEMA penalizing the entire state by withholding what could be tens of millions of dollars over an extended period of time. IDHS will present its side of the case in court.
Source: Indiana Department of Homeland Security