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Property Issues Resolved, $400K Sports Complex Inches Forward

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Copyright 2013 South Bend Tribune Corporation
All Rights Reserved

South Bend Tribune (Indiana)
November 12, 2013 Tuesday
Mich Edition
NEWS; Pg. A4
331 words
Barriers removed for Niles sports complex
Lou Mumford, South Bend Tribune

NILES

A $400,000 sports complex proposed for the former Tyler Refrigeration plant site north of Lake Street is back on the front burner following resolution of issues related to property across the street.

The Niles City Council effectively gave the project the green light Monday night when it approved a pair of resolutions involving the complex. In the first, the panel opted to accept from Carrier Commercial Refrigeration, the company that bought Tyler Refrigeration four years ago and promptly closed it, its donation of property across Lake Street that includes a former research and development building, a vacant lot and parking lot.

Also approved was an agreement with Carrier allowing for an easement for construction of the public recreation project, expected to include two women's fast-pitch softball fields, two baseball fields and four soccer fields. Adult and youth leagues are expected to use the facilities.

Just two weeks ago, City Administrator Ric Huff told the council Carrier had sought to include in its donation agreement a stipulation that the city either retain the vacant lot and parking lot parcels forever or agree to hold Carrier harmless from contamination issues. Also, if the city agreed to the latter, Huff said Carrier was willing to allow the city to sell the property for commercial or industrial use but not residential.

The council took no action but Mayor Mike McCauslin asked Huff to determine if Carrier's conversion of the plant site for the sports complex hinged directly on the council's decision on the parking lot property. On Monday night, Huff reported the issues had been resolved, with Carrier agreeing to the donation and easement without stipulations.

Asked after the meeting the reason for the company's change of heart, Huff had no explanation. Pressed further, he said he believed Carrier's intent was to obtain the best possible agreement.

Huff said there is no current timetable for the complex.

LMumford@SBTinfo.com 574-876-2752

November 13, 2013

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