IDHS: Kokomo baseball stadium violations now in compliance

KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) — The Indiana Department of Homeland security announced that issues with the Kokomo baseball stadium have been resolved or soon will be.

“I am very pleased the situation could be resolved,” said Gov. Mike Pence in a media release Friday afternoon. “I commend the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security for working together in good faith.”

IDHS says the majority of issues have been resolved with the eight restricted land parcels in question. Plans are in place to fix the remaining problems, and monitoring will continue to ensure final compliance, according to IDHS.

Officials provided background on the situation in the media release:

The dispute involving Kokomo Municipal Baseball Stadium first surfaced when it was discovered last year that Kokomo officials were constructing part of the new baseball stadium on parcels of land that had previously been purchased and deed-protected as undeveloped open space using federal hazard mitigation grant funding. In 2005, the City of Kokomo applied for and was granted FEMA funds to purchase the properties.

FEMA determined in late 2014 that parcels purchased with federal funds and being used in the Kokomo baseball stadium were not in compliance. As the grantee, IDHS has been working with the City of Kokomo to resolve compliance issues. There were questions concerning up to eight parcels.

On February 25, due to the unresolved issues with the parcels, FEMA suspended all of Indiana’s hazard mitigation grant program, which at the time had more than $6.1 million in unapproved projects. On May 8, FEMA granted IDHS’s appeal and reinstated all hazard mitigation grant awards to Indiana, with the exception of Kokomo, which is still not eligible for hazard mitigation funds or disaster funds related to the baseball stadium.