City Council again extends contract to buy scrapyard

July 31, 2018

DIXON – The city signed off on its fourth contract extension to buy Dixon Iron & Metal Co. on Monday and hopes to wrap up the deal in the next 2 months.

The city’s goal is to buy the scrapyard at 78 Monroe Ave., clean it up and make it into a prime development area on the riverfront.

The original contract signed in March last year gave the city exclusive rights to buy the 3-acre property for $310,000 with an 8-month window that also allowed the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to come in and conduct tests at the site.

The City Council then approved three extensions to the contract to continue to assess the extent of environmental issues and hired Fehr Graham Engineering and Environmental in May to do further tests for $122,000 to gauge the contamination from heavy metals and polychlorinated biphenyl, or PCBs, and what will need to be done to fix the issues.

The IEPA has been helping out for free, and more tests are slated for next month.

The City Council approved a 2-month extension at a special meeting Monday, and Mayor Li Arellano Jr. said they hope to finalize the deal soon.

The price also won’t be final until the council decides to execute the contract, he said.

Draft budget documents listed the price as $65,000 earlier this year.

The same extensions were approved for a contract to buy a nearby house at 86 Monroe Ave. for $30,000.

Dixon Iron closed late last year and has been owned by Jim Pitchford since 2007. The nearby house is owned by his son, William Pitchford.

The properties are part of the Viaduct Point project, a partnership in which the city and the Lee County Industrial Development Association secured about 10 acres of land stretching from the Peoria Avenue Bridge to the viaducts to attract new development.

The council also approved closing River Street from Peoria to Hennepin avenues from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday for the Petunia City Brass drumline preview.

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