AP NEWS

Manteno may buy downtown property

September 19, 2018

MANTENO — David Giuliani

Manteno is looking to buy a downtown property that could be used to expand a municipal parking lot.

On Monday, the village board unanimously voted to authorize the village administrator to negotiate for the purchase of a building at 54 W. First St.

“The opportunity came along,” village administrator Chris LaRocque said in an interview. “We haven’t come up with a specific use. We’ll probably extend the parking lot next to it to expand parking availability.”

To make room for the parking lot, the building would be knocked down, LaRocque said. It contains seven apartments, several of which are vacant, he said.

An appraiser hired by the seller valued the property at about $300,000, the administrator said.

The purchase of the First Street property would be similar to what the village has done on Second Street, where it bought houses to make way for the Square on Second, LaRocque said.

“We are looking at these types of properties. If they are residential in nature, they don’t fit in as the best use in that area anymore,” LaRocque said.

The First Street property would be paid for with TIF funds, which are spent on projects to benefit the downtown district.

PATHS IN MANTENO

In other action, the village board chose Kankakee Valley Construction Co. as the contractor for a project to build a multi-use path and improve drainage. The firm’s bid was $265,000.

The village finished a similar project on the south side of town last year. It makes sense to do the path and drainage at the same time, LaRocque said.

“It saves us money since the machinery will be set in place. We don’t have to stage equipment twice,” LaRocque said.

Mayor Tim Nugent said it’s part of a long-term plan.

“Our intent at some point in time is to have several miles of walking and biking paths throughout the community,” he said.

The project is expected to start in the fall and be done in late May.

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