MARENGO – The city of Marengo’s plan to sell a half-acre of vacant land for at least $15,000 fell flat this week when officials rejected the only offer it received, which was for $2,500.
Officials opened the lone bid at their Jan. 24 meeting.
Interim City Administrator James Culotta said officials could put the lot at the corner of Whitetail and Cascade drives up for auction again if there is interest.
“It’s undeveloped land at the very end of a subdivision,” Culotta said. “It’s right at the corner. You could put a house on that.”
Those streets are located in the Deerpass Estates subdivision, according to McHenry County property records.
“We don’t know if the parcel was donated to the city – I don’t have the background on it,” Culotta said.
As to how the $15,000 minimum bid was chosen, Culotta said the city did not do a formal appraisal but used other similar properties to arrive at an amount.
“It reflects the market rate,” Culotta said.
Marengo resident Fred Vroman said the city put the house up for auction three weeks ago and that was not enough time to get full financing, so he put in the low bid.
“I could not get a construction loan fully guaranteed yet because it’s a pain in the butt to get construction loans,” Vroman said. “I didn’t want to pay the full amount and be bound to it with speculation if I could not build a house on the property. … I could not push the paperwork fast enough.”
Vroman said he wanted to build a house for him and his family on that parcel.
“I wanted to get something turned in. I didn’t want to disrespect Marengo city,” Vroman said. “I wanted to make an offer. I was pretty sure they’d say no.”