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TODAY IS Thursday October 18th


Opinion Issued In Lawsuit Against Three Rivers
Thursday Jun 07, 2018 11:43am
Centreville, MI

By: Mike Stiles


(BERRIEN COUNTY) – Neither St. Joseph County or the City of Three Rivers breached an agreement regarding funding for a sports complex.

That was the ruling made by Berrien County Circuit Court Judge John M. Donahue Tuesday afternoon and released to both St. Joseph County and Three Rivers City officials Wednesday morning.

St. Joseph County had filed a lawsuit against Three Rivers in an attempt to get back $775,000 it advanced to the City to help purchase a 77 acre piece of land in Lockport Township. The land, which is located between North Main Street to the west and Buckhorn Road to the east, was to be used to construct a multi-field sports complex.

The County was suing because they said Three Rivers failed to annex the property and they also failed to complete construction of the facility by a specified date.

The City stated that the original agreement was amended. In addition, there was another delay when Lockport Township legally challenged the City's annexation and a temporary restraining order was issued.

In June 2017, the Michigan Boundary Commission approved Three Rivers' petition to annex the land, which was upheld when Lockport Township appealed the ruling. Another appeal by the Township is now pending in the Michigan Court of Appeals.

In his ruling, Donahue says since the land is not legally annexed while there is a legal challenge, municipalities should not expend tax payer dollars on projects that could be subject to abandonment.

He says if the land does not become annexed to the City, then Three Rivers would be in breach of the agreement. He also says the County can not get back the money unless the City can't annex the property.
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