Village board to discuss vacant-lot sell-off proposal

RANTOUL — The village board Tuesday night was expected to reopen discussion regarding adoption of a vacant property purchase program.

Under the program, the public would be able to buy certain properties owned by the village in an attempt to get them back on the public tax roll.

First priority would be given to residents who live next to the properties in question, followed by other residents of Rantoul and then non-Rantoul residents.

Village trustee Sam Hall, who presented the plan in September, said the village owns about 60 parcels that could be sold to the public.

Neighboring residents of the parcels in question would be able to buy the property for $100 per parcel. Expanding the yards of existing homes, for beautification, for gardens, for housing and other uses permitted by current regulations are some of the possible uses for the land.

A purchaser must maintain ownership of the parcel for at least five years. If it is sold before that time, the village will charge the original purchaser a fee of $1,000 or the full market value, whichever is greater.

The program, which would be offered on a trial basis, would allow up to two lots to be purchased per person.

If more than one property owner applies to buy a neighboring parcel, it would be divided so half of the parcel goes to each applicant for $50 apiece, under the proposal.

Purchasers would have 60 days for replatting if the parcel is split in half.

The tentative plan also calls for remaining unsold properties to be made available to other Rantoul residents for $250 apiece.

Properties will be sold as is via a quit claim deed.

To buy a property, a bidder would have to be current on all taxes, water and sewer bills and any other financial obligation to the village of Rantoul and not have any outstanding code violations for any property the applicant owns in the village.

The purchaser would be responsible for the $108 recording fee with the Champaign County register of deeds and any other costs.

The program has been placed on the village board’s study session agenda for discussion.

Other business
Other items on the agenda include discussion on an attorney engagement letter. The contract with village attorney Ken Beth is expiring.

The board will also hear recommendations from the mico loan committee to approve a $10,000 micro loan and a $10,000 facade grant to House of Flowers, and a $30,000 micro loan to Elite Pro.

The Public Works Department is also asking the board to approve a $263,00 contract with Visu-Sewer for a sanitary slip-lining project, and a $34,415 purchase of an asphalt patching trailer from CMW Equipment.

Under community development, the board will be asked to approve a contract with STR for land bank services at a cost not to exceed $20,000.

None of the agenda items may be voted on until the board’s Jan. 15 regular board meeting.


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