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Dixon looks to buy property for development project

DIXON – The City Council entered into a contract Monday to buy property in the Viaduct Point project footprint.

The city plans to buy the house at 86 Monroe Ave. from William Pitchford for $30,000, following a 45-day due-diligence period. The council also OK’d using $31,000 from capital funds.

The city likely will be able to close on the property in March, city attorney Rob LeSage said.

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

As part of the project, the city acquired the Dixon Iron and Metal Co. scrapyard at 78 Monroe Ave. last year through abandonment court, after about 2 years of extending a contract to buy the property while environmental tests were conducted. Dixon Iron, which was owned by William’s father, Jim Pitchford, closed in late 2017.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency started $3 million in cleanup work in August to remediate environmental issues at the scrapyard.

The goal is to clean up the property and use it for the bike path extension project, which would add about 1.5 miles of new bike path running east along River Road toward Raynor Garage Doors and west downtown connecting up to the viaducts and stretching from First to Seventh streets.

The city received a $2 million Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant for the bike path project in October 2016.

Next meeting

The City Council next meets at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 17 at City Hall, 121 W. Second St.

Go to discoverdixon.org or call City Hall at 815-288-1485 for an agenda or more information.

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