Metra Scheduled to Approve Former Flowerwood Land for Station in Ridgefield This Morning

After having been public in a Northwest Herald story on August 5th–a mere nine days ago–Metra’s board is scheduled to purchase 17 acres in Ridgefield for $1.5 million from a trust half-owned by McHenry County Board Chairman Ken Koehler today.

The preliminary concept plan, however, was completed on January 5, 2009.

No public hearings about the suitability of this major traffic generator have been or will be held by Metra, according to an aide to Metra Executive Director Phil Pagano.

The purchase document states,

“Time is of the essence
of this Agreement”

although former McHenry County College President Walt Packard told the MCC Board on the night it paid $67,000 per acre for 57 acres across the road from the railroad tracks that

“the property was perfectly sited to take advantage of a future Ridgefield Metra station maybe 20 years away.”

There will be 757 parking spots on the Crystal Lake watershed property.

The purchase is contingent on

  • funding availability
  • an annexation agreement with Crystal Lake
  • approval of various permits and
  • Crystal Lake’s agreement to operate and maintain the facilities.

Among other conditions are that

  • Crystal Lake will not require Metra to “extend the City’s water and sewer systems to the Property”
  • an “authorized and executed intergovernmental recapture agreement by and among the Purchaser, the City of Crystal Lake and McHenry County which may be expended by the Purchaser for improvements which benefit other properties, whether they develop in the City of Crystal Lake or within the jurisdiction of McHenry County, which is in form and substance acceptable to Purchaser in its sole discretion”

According to the documents being considered,

“Metra board member and former State Senator Jack Schaffer informed Metra personnel that Liberty Outdoor Advertising, a company Director Schaffer has an interest in, has a small sign structure on the property through a long standing Agreement. Subsequent to any closing, however, Meta will require the sign to be removed promptly, usually within 30 days depending upon weather conditions.”

Metra wants the deal closed in 120 days, but is willing to wait longer.

The seller and buyer “represents and warrants to Purchaser that the only real estate broker utilized by the Seller and Beneficiaries is Mike Deacon in connection with the purchase and sale of the Property to whom Seller and Beneficiaries have agreed to pay a commission.” The layout seen above is contained on an earlier page.

Among the attached exhibits is a blank page for “Preliminary Concept Plan.”

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If the train station is built, it would be visible across the tracks next to the barbed wire fence. Click to enlarge the image.


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