BRIDGEPORT, Ohio (WTRF) – Where will they decide to locate the new stadium… that will be the home of the Bridgeport Bulldogs?
It’s a hot controversy in that community, where the home team hasn’t had its own turf for two years. One man knows where he DOESN’T want it.
John Callarik, the owner of Chapter Square, is still so opposed to giving up his land for the project….that he called in State Senator Frank Hoagland to back him up. Callarik is known for straight talk.
“You come in and try to take it, you’ll get this! I don’t care!” he said.
Chapter Square is his creation, and just the suggestion that it could be taken by eminent domain for a football field….makes him fighting mad.
“I’m not gonna get moved out of here ’cause I got a bulldozer yet, some equipment left here,” Callarik said.”If they step foot on this place, I’ll shove ’em right over in the creek.”
He invited State Senator Frank Hoagland to tour Chapter Square.
“It’s an asset to the community,” said Hoagland. “And not only is it an asset to the community, but when that PTT plant comes in, this fellow’s going to be busy. This whole establishment’s going to be busy. And I truly just do not understand how somebody could just come in and say well we’re going to knock your businesses down and we’re going to get rid of all your employees.”
Senator Hoagland spoke with the school superintendent too. And he was assured that eminent domain would be the last resort.
“There are some other options that they can employ before they actually go this direction,” Hoagland added. “And talking to the superintendent, he seems very serious about using other options.”
Friends have been painting signs in support of a peaceful resolution.
“We agree they need a new stadium,” said Paul Riethmiller, Callarik’s friend. “They don’t need to take Mr. Callarik’s property to do it. This is a 94-year-old World War II veteran who built this with his hands. There’s no reason to run business out of the community.”
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