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updated: 10/11/2011 6:05 PM

Kane forest board pursuing Seavey Road land buy

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The Kane County Forest Preserve Commission Tuesday decided to buy a chunk of land that would help it connect the Dick Young and Lake Run forest preserves via a trail.

The 134 acres are on the south side of Seavey Road in Blackberry Township. The board voted to buy the land via negotiation or condemnation. Oliver Hoffman Corp., a home-building company, owns the three parcels.

Dick Young Forest Preserve is immediately to the north. Lake Run is west of the parcels.

Last spring, voters agreed to borrow $30 million to buy open space. So far the district has spent $7.9 million for three deals.

The commission also voted to sell a half-acre plot along the Fox River north of St. Charles, for $20,000. It was land the district acquired about 20 years ago when it thought it was going to build a trail on the west side of the river, said President John Hoscheit. At that time, it agreed that if the trail never materialized, the district would sell the land back at the same price. Commissioner Phil Lewis of St. Charles was the sole "no" vote. Commissioners Mike Donahue, Bonnie Kunkel and Karen McConnaughay were absent.

The commission also put on display its 2012-13 estimated operating budget, made for the purpose of levying taxes. It will be on display for 30 days at the district's office. The proposal estimates $8.81 million in operational spending. It calls for asking for 2.25 percent more in property taxes. The property tax cap this year will limit levy growth to 1.5 percent, except for taxes on new construction, which the district doesn't know yet. The district's equalized assessed valuation isn't determined until several months after the tax levy request has to be filed, so like many taxing bodies, it over-levies, hoping to collect every tax dollar available. The county clerk then calculates the actual tax extension in the spring.

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