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updated: 7/23/2014 5:20 PM

Island Lake man wants to buy portion of village road

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  • Island Lake's village board will hear a pitch Thursday night from a local business owner who wants to buy a portion of a local street. Mike Johnson says he and his employees are the only drivers who use the stretch of Bassler Drive he hopes to purchase from the village.

       Island Lake's village board will hear a pitch Thursday night from a local business owner who wants to buy a portion of a local street. Mike Johnson says he and his employees are the only drivers who use the stretch of Bassler Drive he hopes to purchase from the village.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 

An Island Lake man wants to buy a portion of a local street that leads to his business' property, and he'll try to win over village leaders with a presentation Thursday night.

An attorney representing Mike Johnson is scheduled make the pitch to the mayor and trustees.

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Johnson has his eye on a section of Bassler Drive, which dead-ends at property he uses for Mike's Towing, his Wauconda-based towing business.

Neither Johnson nor his attorney, David Zipp, could be reached for comment.

Johnson told Island Lake Trustee Mark Beeson he wants to buy the section of roadway because he and his employees are the only people who drive on that part of the street.

Turning maintenance of the roadway over to Johnson could save the village some money, Beeson said. A Sikh temple and a privately owned house also on the street wouldn't be affected, he added.

Thursday's discussion is just a preliminary presentation, Beeson said. There won't be a vote on the proposal.

"This could be step one of 20 for all I know," he said.

Trustee Chuck Cermak learned of Johnson's plan Wednesday morning when he saw the agenda for Thursday's meeting. He said he's looking forward to the presentation.

"It'll be interesting to sit and listen and see what the proposal is," Cermak said.

The meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. at village hall, 3720 Greenleaf Ave.

Johnson is no stranger to Island Lake politics or local controversies.

A disagreement between Johnson and two of his neighbors on Bassler Drive drew media attention in September 2013. While feuding with Betty and Glenn Reckwerdt over a residential driveway that crosses onto his property, Johnson placed large, concrete blocks on the asphalt and left them there for a few days. The blocks made it difficult for the Reckwerdts to drive between the street and their home.

Johnson supported Mayor Charles Amrich and Amrich's slate mates in the 2013 village election, contributing to their campaign fund, state records show.

After the election, his company became the Island Lake Police Department's primary towing company. Johnson also dropped a lawsuit against the village after the election.

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