Grafton Twp. plans to sell land once targeted for town hall

  • Jim Kearns

    Jim Kearns

 
 
Updated 1/6/2015 12:16 PM

Grafton Township officials plan to sell land once targeted for a new town hall to a developer seeking to build a roughly 20-unit apartment complex.

The township could close on the deal soon, if Lake in the Hills opts not to buy back the land it originally sold to Grafton in 2009, and approves the proposed apartment complex near Haligus Road and Grafton Farm Drive.

 

Lake in the Hills Village Administrator Gerald Sagona said the township notified the village of its intent to sell the property in December.

"They have entered into a contract with the developer," Sagona said. "As part of the purchase agreement they have to give us 60 days notice of their intent to sell the property."

The village has the first right of refusal on purchasing the land.

Lake in the Hills sold the property to Grafton Township for $99,500. The village board will consider whether to buy back the property for the same price at a meeting later this month.

No development proposal has yet come forward before the village board.

Grafton Township's plans for a $3.5 million town hall building died after residents voted at an annual meeting in April 2010 to return the property that would have housed the new offices. In November 2010, voters overwhelmingly defeated a ballot measure asking whether the township should borrow money to build a new headquarters.

Grafton's agreement with Joe Billitteri, owner of Billitteri Enterprises, spells that the township would sell the 1.8 acres to the developer for $80,000. The money would be used to pay off outstanding debt incurred from several lawsuits that nearly bankrupted the township in 2013, Supervisor Jim Kearns said.

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"When we took office, the township essentially was $500,000 in the hole between unpaid bills and the debt that was owed to the road district," Kearns said.

Officials settled the four lawsuits and borrowed $200,000 to pay off the township's debts.

"We've paid off $300,000 in the last two years," Kearns said. "At the end of this fiscal year, we'll owe $134,000 remaining as of March 31. If we sell the property, then we'll apply that to the debt. We want to pay the bank off early. We want to have all the past put to rest and run the township responsibly."

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