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Article updated: 2/12/2013 12:19 AM

St. Charles on verge of donating land to help injured veteran

St. Charles officials to donate land, charity will build

By James Fuller

It's been more than two years since John Hall Jr. stood before the St. Charles city council with an idea to build and donate a new home for a local injured military veteran.

Between now and then, the economy bottomed out and the Homebuilders Association of Greater Fox Valley, which Hall was president of, ceased to exist. Gone were the two backbones of the project -- time and money to donate and the organization to make the home a reality.

On Monday, Hall told aldermen the stars are again aligning to make the project a reality. There's a slight rebound in the housing market. And the Northern Illinois Homebuilders' Association has enveloped many of the former members of the Greater Fox Valley Association.

"We've got fantastic support," Hall said. "We have a vet selected. And we have got all we need to put this together."

Everything except for the land to build the home on. That's where the aldermen come into play.

The city has two adjacent parcels of land suitable to build homes on. They are along the railroad tracks just south of Park Avenue between North Third Avenue and Route 25. They are already zoned for residential use.

All city officials have to do is transfer ownership of the land to Hall, a process aldermen tentatively agreed to Monday night.

"This is an outstanding thing you're doing," Alderman Cliff Carrignan said.

Hall ultimately plans on building two homes once a second veteran with a need is identified. The first veteran lost a foot in an improvised explosive device explosion.

He is also caring for a 6-year-old autistic son and his in-laws. Hall plans on accommodating their needs with a 2,500-square foot ranch home.

Site preparation will begin this spring with home construction following in the summer. Once the plans are established, aldermen will have a chance to review the plans.

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