June 24, 2024 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Village purchases 25 acres of land near sewer plant

$750,000.


25 acres.


In July the Village of St. Joseph entered into a purchase agreement with the Pritchard family of St. Joseph to purchase three sections of property near the St. Joseph sewer plant. The village took control of the property at the end of August.


The property includes a 15-acre tract, a 10.83-acre tract and a .84-acre tract that includes a house and several outbuildings.


“That location is more valuable to us than your typical person,” said St. Joseph Village Administrator Joseph Hackney.

The purchase was funded by a short-term loan.


Hackney said when they sell some of the assets they just purchased they can pay down the loan. He said the village did not want to use its working cash fund to purchase the property.


Hackney said the village paid more than is typical for farmland in Illinois. According to the University of Illinois Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics the average farm real estate value for Illinois in 2023 was $9,300 per acre.


“The price per acre was a little higher,” he said. “If this was somewhere else we would have overpaid but that location was worth it to us.”

Hackney said the long-term plan for the property, which will have to be annexed into the village, could include moving all public works facilities out to the 15-acre tract between the sewer plant and the .84 acre tract that includes the house.

The facility would house all equipment and offices for public works and allow the village to sell the current public works facilities which are spread out throughout town. Hackney said in the past people have contacted him expressing interest in the current public works facilities.


The village also plans to sell the tract with the house and the 10.83-acre tract. Some of the 10.83 acres sits in a flood plain which would prohibit anyone from building on it.


“A lot of it is dry,” Hackney said. Hackney said estimates state that 60 percent of the land is buildable and that 12 to 24 townhomes could be placed on it.


“It’s a positive space,” he said.

Hackney said the village may have to farm the land in the short term but long term they want to sell the land for development.


“We don’t want to be landlords,” he said. “But we don’t want to sell it cheap. We want to get as much back as we can.”

The village hopes to sell the lot with the house as soon as possible.


Hackney said the investment will pay off for the village and in the short term it will help them with the issue of where to put all the dirt that will come from the sewer plant expansion scheduled to start this month.


“This has been a blessing, it gives us some breathing room,” he said. “It gives us somewhere to take dirt previously we would have had to take it all to the sports complex. ‘’

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