The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

December 20, 2013

County prepares to sell farm ground

Land could bring in $1.5 million

The Commercial-News

---- — DANVILLE — Farmland owned by Vermilion County is scheduled to go on the auction block during the first part of 2014.

Vermilion County Board members approved in November the sale of around 120 acres of land neighboring the former county nursing home on Catlin-Tilton Road.

An auction for the sale of the land, which has been owned by the county for a number of years, is tentatively scheduled for the end of January, according to Vermilion County Board Chairman Gary Weinard. The sale is being handled by Farmers National.

Weinard said the final date will be decided by the completion of a survey of the land. He said a property line shared with the Vermilion County Animal Shelter must be confirmed before any sale can proceed.

“We need to get that done so we can tell the new owner what you’re buying,” he said this week.

Any delay in completing the survey could push the sale of the land back into the beginning of February, Weinard added.

County officials hope the sale of the land will provide new money to take care of a number of maintenance projects on county buildings — including the Vermilion County Courthouse, the Courthouse Annex and Emergency Management Agency building, among others — that have been pushed back in recent years.

According to Farmers National, it is estimated the land could sell at anywhere between $1.25 and $1.5 million. Other land sales in the county since the board approved the sale have netted between $11,000 and $12,000 per acre.

At $11,000 per acre, the county-owned property would sell for around $1.3 million. Farmers National has indicated good interest in the land, which is near several strong local farming operations.

The county has made use of the land over the years, receiving profits from it being farmed. Of the 120 acres, about 111 acres is tillable land. This year, the land brought in between $40,000 and $50,000 to the county. Last year, the money brought in topped out at between $60,000 and $70,000.

Weinard has said the money, once the sale is finalized, would be placed in the county’s capital improvement fund rather than go into operating expenses.