It’s good to be a small town in Iowa.
Dyersville, Iowa, home of the Field of Dreams, is in the middle of a fierce debate over the future of the idyllic spot made famous by the Kevin Costner movie.
An option on the site was purchased last year by a Chicago attorney, who stopped “on the way home” from a Minnesota Twins game to play catch with his son. Now, he and his wife are planning a big spread at the site that would, in theory, attract hundreds of youth baseball tournaments.
A study concludes that up to 1,500 players and their families would visit Dyersville every week.
And, the Associated Press says, that’s one of the problems. Businesses in the town are worried that the new restaurants and businesses would take what few workers there are in the town. Unemployment is low in the town now.
The AP says the plan also has plenty of environmental concern:
While the project could provide an economic jolt and breathe new life into Dyersville’s most valuable asset, it has unleashed fierce emotions that have pitted neighbors against each other and raised difficult questions for leaders of the town of 4,000. Should the city extend water and sewer service to make the project viable? Would enough people come to make it succeed? And if so, would the development ruin the nostalgic, country feel that made this part of rural Iowa a draw in the first place?
“This is one of those projects that has a high risk, but a high reward,” said Jim Heavens, a cattle nutritionist who has been the city’s part-time mayor for nine years. “If everything goes
according to Hoyle, it would be a boom for the town and a boom for the state and do something nice for youth. If it doesn’t work out, there’s going to be a lot of pieces to pick up.”
Two weeks ago, about a dozen people spoke up at the city council meeting asking for help to protect the city and nearby farms. Others spoke in favor of the project. The council took no action and nobody called anybody a “Nazi cow.”