Digital Access

Digital Access
Access saukvalley.com and all Shaw Media Illinois content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, Daily including the e-Edition or e-Edition only.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more. Text alerts are a free service from SaukValley.com, but text rates may apply.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.
Premium

DIXON School district considering selling Washington Park

DIXON – Many years ago, Washington Elementary School P.E. classes ventured across Assembly Place to what seemed like an endless field. 

That’s not the case now, and Dixon schools is considering putting the lot on the market.

Washington Park, as it is unofficially known, is bounded by Assembly Place, Academy St. and Institute Blvd.

It’s maintained by the school district, which mows about 3 acres of grass and cleans up trash from two ball diamonds, which costs the district “a few thousand” dollars, buildings and grounds supervisor Kevin Schultz said.

It has outlived its usefulness, though, and “we need to consider our options of selling Washington Park in the future,” Superintendent Margo Empen told the school board Wednesday.

The district hasn’t appraised the property yet, but any sale likely would be in the form of a sealed bid or auction.

The River Bandits baseball club, which has requested to use the space for next season, and the Al Morrison baseball league use one of the diamonds; the other seldom is used. 

In addition to overseeing maintenance and upkeep, Schultz mediates scheduling discussions between the two organizations.

“We’ve got better things to do with our time,” he said.

The lot is zoned R-1 for single-family residential units, and business manager David Blackburn suggested that if it were to be developed into a cul-de-sac-type residential addition, it could increase the district’s assessed value, as opposed to park district or nonprofit ownership with no property taxes paid.

Board secretary Brad Sibley would like to see it off the district’s books.

“How soon can we get rid of it?” he asked. “It doesn’t make any sense to maintain property that we are not using. If we still use it in 3 years, and Kevin’s guys are spending time to go there and maintain it, why are we maintaining property for the River Bandits and Al Morrison?”

Board member JR Humphrey asked if the district can consider leasing the property if a sale does not materialize, with a stipulation that any upkeep would not be the district’s responsibility.

Any timetable to a decision would depend on interest in a sale, Empen said.

Loading more