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Youth Soccer Complex plan discussed at March 11 council meeting

By Paula Pyzik Scott

The March 11 meeting of the Bluffton council was the Mitch Kingsley and Bluffton Soccer Club show. This reporter expected something out of the ordinary when eight people were in attendance, a large crowd for a council meeting.

Kingsley quipped that he wasn’t running for office when he held the floor for reports by the Pathway Board, Bluffton Beyond Tomorrow comprehensive planning committee, and Parks and Recreation Committee.

Three members of the Bluffton Soccer Club board made a presentation on plans for the Bluffton Soccer Complex to be developed on land donated by SumiRiko on Snider Rd. Aaron Meyers (President), Tyler Gleason and Jonnathan Bonifaz noted that almost every high school athlete in Bluffton has played soccer on a U8-U12 team. There are currently 60 children playing in the U8 age group. Notably, the current fields at multiple locations around the village do not provide enough capacity for home games for Bluffton’s travel teams and overwhelm family transportation schedules.


Preliminary plans for the soccer complex include 7 fields, a multipurpose building, and playground for younger siblings, surrounded by a walking path. There would also be room to add U15 fields. A price for the project is pending.

The club board members noted that many Bluffton Soccer Club board members grew up in this organization, which has operated for three decades. The club organizes spring and fall seasons and a spring tournament in Bluffton.

At the end of the presentation, the soccer club representatives and Mayor Richard Johnson signed a partnership agreement for management of the soccer complex.

Council approved a second version of the Bluffton Beyond Tomorrow comprehensive plan that was previously presented to Council last spring. The committee appointed by the Mayor further developed the document with additional details, clarifications and a 13-page appendix. 

Kingsley sent this message to the committee members: “This document has great potential to assist the community of Bluffton going forward. The information is fresh and contemporary; the reach is thorough and informed; the vision is stretching but grounded in resident’s feedback.

The effort by you all is a testament to the vitality of the community and a reason for extraordinary thanks to each of you. In addition, several of you have gone far beyond in combing and completing an exceptional piece of work that compliments the Village of Bluffton.” (The Icon will share links to the finished document when available.)

Council approved two applications for special events that were submitted to the Mayor: 

  • Citizens National Bank to close Citizens Parkway after Dollar General on April 6-8, 2024
  • Bluffton Area Ministerial Association Cross Walk 2024 on Good Friday, March 29 from 11:30 a.m.-noon.

Council passed the first reading of Ordinance 03-2024 approving the annual appropriations for 2024 by emergency. Fiscal officer Kevin Nickel noted that the “two big assumptions” used were a 5% inflationary factor and a 4% payroll increase.

Council passed the second reading of Resolution 07-2024, an agreement with Orange Township for a master revenue sharing agreement for annexed property.

Council passed a first reading of Resolution 08-2024 naming Andrew Grothouse as the Village representative on the Allen County 911 program review committee.

Council passed a first reading of Resolution 09-2024 accepting a bid from Bluffton Stone Company/Bluffton Paving Inc. for the 2024 construction year