Kokomo plans stadium, flood-mitigation project

(Provided artist's rendering)

KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) – By May of next year, the city of Kokomo will have a brand new baseball stadium downtown. Kokomo officials unveiled the $11.5 million dollar project Monday.

Officials said the baseball stadium will cost $9 million dollars in all, plus $2.5 million for flood mitigation for the flood-prone area.

Mayor Greg Goodnight said it’s a way to combine two projects into one.

Kokomo’s last baseball stadium was built 60 years ago, and for about 15 months, a committee had been studying whether to upgrade that, or build a new one.

The city had also been working to buy homes in the flood-prone area near Wildcat Creek downtown, as they worked on flood mitigation plans.

“We think this is good for the community all the way around. It revitalizes, and it gives us a repurposing of a flooding area,” Mayor Goodnight said.

Stephen Mosier said he’s owned a home near Wildcat Creek for 15 years.

“This flooding hit me hard. I’m hoping, if everything goes right and they get this park put in, maybe it’ll stop,” Mosier said, speaking of the April 2013 floods that devastated the area.

“If they’re going to keep the floods from happening, and I don’t have to keep replacing water heaters and furnaces after flooding, that saves me money,” he added.

Mayor Goodnight said $1 million of the plan will come from their waste water and storm reserves, and they’ll take out a bond for the rest.

Goodnight said they’ll pay off their only other bond this year. That bond was $6 million for a parking garage and housing downtown. The city paid it off five years early.

City officials hope to break ground in a month for the baseball stadium. They hope to have the project completed by opening day of 2015.

Four area high schools will use the baseball stadium. It will also be equipped for community events and to be  a soccer stadium.

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