Land acquisition at no cost to taxpayers

In an effort to acquire, develop and preserve land in the most cost-effective manner, the Rockford Park District is applying for a grant from the state of Illinois for 50 percent of the fair market value of a 20.3-acre parcel known as the “Wedgbury Property” adjacent to Sportscore Two.

The Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the resolution for staff to apply for an Open Space Land and Development (OSLAD) grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). If the grant is awarded, this land acquisition to Sportscore Two will not cost local taxpayers any money.

According to Jim Reid, deputy director of Capital Planning and Asset Management: “The Foundation made an excellent and shrewd investment, since the current fair market value is estimated to be about $1,488,000 for the land. An IDNR grant pays 50 percent of the certified fair market value, which would more than pay for the $575,000 purchase price the Foundation is asking. This is a three-way win for the Foundation, the Park District, and the citizens because there is no cost to local taxpayers.”

In April 2005, the Rockford Park District Foundation purchased the 20.3 acres from Dr. Donald Wedgbury at a purchase price of $575,000 and holds the land until such time as the Rockford Park District can purchase the land from the Foundation for the same price.

The grant announcements will take place in January 2008. If the grant is rejected, acquisition of the land will be postponed until other funding can be identified.

from the July 25-31, 2007, issue

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