Field of Dreams prospective developers to foot major bill - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Field of Dreams prospective developers to foot major bill

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DYERSVILLE (KWWL) -

Some taxpayers in Dyersville are breathing easier now after learning they won't be shouldering one major cost associated with the Field of Dreams renovation.

The Dyersville city council Monday night approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the city and Denise Stillman, a co-owner of the company developing the field's proposed expansion.

Both parties agreed the developers would pay to run the city's water and sewer lines out to the Field of Dreams. That's $2.5 million to $3 million for which taxpayers are not on the hook.

Dyersville mayor Jim Heavens said the move changed some people's opinion of the overall project.

"There was a kind of a ground shift of the people that have become to kind of warm up to this project and then become more accepting of it, that they knew that the money issue was essentially off the table," he said.

When Heavens first heard the idea for this project, he said, he considered it a "high risk, high reward" prospect for the city. Now, after agreeing the developers will pay the costs associated with running water and sewer out to the field, he calls the project, "low risk, high reward."

"We plan on doing some tax increment financing out there, too, that would help them pay for the sewer over time, but, essentially, they will pay for the water and sewer to go out there and the day after they hook it up, it becomes property of the city," Heavens said, adding the developers will get no break in the water and sewer rate, since that's set by city ordinance.

Denise and Michael Stillman want to build a 24-field youth baseball-softball tournament facility at the Field of Dreams site. The cost of the project is an estimated $38 million.

Before running city amenities out to the site, the council must annex the Field of Dreams property, plus nearby properties, to the city.

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