TR sports complex – Judge Middleton denies township motion

Some clarity was added Friday to the intricate legal issue surrounding a plan to develop a multi-field sports complex in Three Rivers.

Acting in the capacity of circuit court judge, St. Joseph County District Court Judge Jeff Middleton denied Lockport Township’s motion to stay the state boundary commission’s ruling.

Friday’s action comes after Middleton in September ordered a stay related to proceedings of the sports complex. Middleton’s fall decision was based on a June 21 ruling by the Michigan Boundary Commission, which sided in favor of Three Rivers and its right to annex a 77-acre parcel from Lockport Township. The city is vying to develop a 17-field, $4.1 million athletic complex on the property located on the north end of Three Rivers.

Middleton oversaw Friday’s proceedings, as circuit court judge Paul Stutesman disqualified himself from the case because his residence in the vicinity of the proposed development poses a conflict of interest, Middleton said.

Three Rivers Mayor Tom Lowry said he is eager for the cold weather to pass so the city can finally begin its long-awaited groundbreaking.

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