MORRIS – The Morris City Council on Monday approved vacating a patch of land on West Illinois Avenue to allow a local business to expand. The city will sell the lot next to Midwest Auto for about $4,100.
The meeting began with a public hearing on the vacation. No one spoke on the issue. During the regular meeting, the council voted on the sale as well as several ordinances for variances on the property.
Jeremy Todd Cade of Midwest Auto said he was planning on building three new bays, totaling about 1,500 square feet, on the west end of his shop. He said he’s secured several contracts to service fleets for local governments and businesses, and will need the additional space for the larger trucks.
The new bays will have 18-foot-high ceilings, Cade said.
Morris Mayor Richard Kopczick said the city occasionally will vacate and sell land when it makes sense for the community. The section on Illinois Avenue, for instance, would be better used by a local business.
“He’s got a good business that employs people and is viable,” Kopczick said. As for the road, it dead ends at the Coleman Hardware building and, to the south, there is the canal.
“That road is never going anywhere,” Kopczick said.
When the city sells land in this situation, it is appraised by an outside appraiser, he said, and sold at fair market value.
In some ways, Midwest Auto already had been maintaining the property. There currently is a parking lot there that Midwest Auto plows when it snows, Kopczick said. The business also sealed it at one point.
Other instances of the city vacating and selling property included Edwards Road, near Morris Hospital, to allow the hospital to expand, as well as an alleyway that once ran through a hospital parking lot.
The council approved a maintenance agreement with Cummings for the generator at City Hall. The agreement totals $996.84, representing a $38.34 increase over last year’s agreement.
The council approved business licenses for John Nieswanger to operate a retail, home decor, clothing and jewelry business at 206 Liberty St., and for Gentral Brooks to operate a vintage automobile renovation business at
1262 Leah Road.