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Streator looks to sell surplus land

The City of Streator soon will be looking to sell some real estate.
The process, however, is a little different for a city than your average seller, City Manager Scot Wrighton explained during Wednesday's City Council meeting.
The properties include 810 S. Bloomington St., 517 E. Main St. and 211 S. Park St., and all are vacant of any homes or structures.
The city will appraise and advertise the properties. If no one bids at 80 percent or more of the appraised values, the city will keep the property for six months as they continue to try to sell it. Afterward, a separate resolution can be passed allowing the city to accept any price.
The site at 517 E. Main St., across from the Streator Fire Department, was the former site of the Lipton Tea building before it burned down in 2012.
At 810 S. Bloomington St. was an abandoned property that was well-known for red graffiti stating "Kundemd" prior to burning down in a fire. 
The lot at 211 S. Park St. also contained a house, which was damaged by a fire in September 2015. The owner demolished the home and transferred the property to the city.
Wrighton said the city determined it had no use for the lots.
Decision to vacate alley tabled
Trevor Corcoran requested the city vacate an east-west alley south of Casey's General Store, 1401 E. Main St., between Main and Bridge streets. Corcoran spoke to the City Council and said he asked for the alley to be vacated as he plans to install a property fence along Casey's property line for privacy and because garbage occasionally blows onto his personal property on Birmingham Avenue. Corcoran said he is the only one who needs access to the alley, but one nearby resident said otherwise.
Robert Beardsley lives on South Otter Creek Street and said the alley runs right into the back of his property. Beardsley said he routinely uses the alley and plans to build a garage facing the alleyway. 
City Engineer Jeremy Palm said Beardsley's property does not connect to the alley and is 20 feet away.
Another alley was mentioned as an alternative route, but Beardsley said the alley is not easy to navigate and would inconvenience other property owners.
Mayor Jimmie Lansford and the City Council chose to table the item until they have a chance to visit the alley before deciding next month.
In other business, the council approved:
  • Authorizing the issuance of general obligation bonds not to exceed $1,325,000 to pay the costs of redevelopment projects in the city’s TIF districts.
  • A facade grant for Don’s Furniture, 311 E. Main St., for $15,000. The application stated the current Don’s Furniture sign would be refurbished as well as the installation of nine second-floor window awnings.
  • Rezoning 116 S. Everett St. from a single-family residential designation to a general commercial designation to be used as a parking lot for Boxseats Bar & Grill, 104 S. Everett St. The vacant residence on the property will be demolished and a privacy fence also will be placed on the south and west sides of the lot.
  • A street lighting agreement with Johnson Controls Inc., in which all of the city’s non-LED street lights will be replaced with LEDs.
  • A construction contract for the milling and resurfacing of a portion of South Illinois Street from Lundy street to 12th Street with Tobey's Construction for $302,827.50.
  • A grant agreement with the state of Illinois for the installation of sewers in Barlow’s Addition.
  • Adopting and approving a revised Streator downtown building facade renovation grant and loan program, with the only change being the city will not need to renew the program every year unless funding is not set aside.
  • Changing auditors to Sikich LLP based out of Naperville.

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