VILLA GROVE — Mayor Terry Harbin has been authorized to begin preliminary negotiations for the purchase or sale of two property locations in town.
The city is considering either buying the former Gire Roofing building at 101 N. Sycamore St. or selling the 4 feet of city property located at the site to the current owner. The owner, Kimberly Young, previously asked the city to work out a lease or another type of agreement, in order to sell the property to Union Pacific Railroad. The city balked at this agreement, because the railroad would not supply a statement of its intentions for the building.
After meeting with the city attorney, the council is leaning toward selling the strip of city property to the current owner for a fair market price to solve the problem. There are no utilities buried in the easement, so the city does not need to hold possession of the land.
The city would also be interested in purchasing the parcel of land from Young, as a possible location for the city's fire department and ambulance bay. The current location of the city's firehouse is slated for use as the new water plant location.
In other business, Harbin said he has been approached by Tri-Star Marketing, which owns the Super Pantry gas station along Illinois 130, to purchase the lot next door with the former community building. If the company purchases the land, it will pay for the demolition of the condemned building and expand its business. The council is concerned with regulations concerning development of the lot, since it is in the city's flood plain. Harbin said he will meet with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to discuss the matter and continue to work with Tri-Star Marketing on its proposal.