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Article updated: 10/16/2013 11:42 AM

Illinois village sells $1 lots to entice residents

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By Associated Press

ROSSVILLE-- A small eastern Illinois community is selling off about a dozen lots at $1 each, hoping to convince people to relocate to Vermillion County from Chicago.

The new landowners will have to agree to build a home on each site and have construction plans drawn up within 90 days, Rossville mayor Richard Queen tells The (Champaign) News-Gazette. The new homesteaders will also have to secure financing, but will have a year to build a home.

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If the new Rossville residents can't meet the terms of the deal, the property will return to the village that's about 35 miles northeast of Champaign.

"There's no catch to it," he said.

So far, the offer only involves 11 village-owned plots in a subdivision, but could be expanded to include several other sites that are privately owned. The village plans to buy the additional property for between $7,000 and $9,000.

The community of about 1,300 residents hopes to recoup its investment through property taxes on the land, Queen said.

Batavia homebuilder Will Nelson said he's worked up five different ranch-style single-family home designs for the sites. Each range from about 1,200 to 2,000 square feet and would cost about $150,000. He plans to market the designs and the properties to Chicago-area empty nesters.

"Rossville is a step away from the stress that most of us are living with every day," Nelson said in a statement.

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