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WJBD - Local News - Sandoval Village Board Wants To Offer Free Lots To Those Who Build Homes In Village

Sandoval Village Board Wants To Offer Free Lots To Those Who Build Homes In Village

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

The Sandoval Village Board wants to give vacant lots away to those who will build homes on them.  

Board member Rick Kretzer came up with the idea to get some of the more than 50 vacant lots the village owns back onto the tax roles.  Many of the vacant lots are the result of an aggressive program to get substandard homes turned down.  

Mayor Ron Kretzer supports the idea.  He notes between the 2000 and 2010 U.S. Census the village lost 107 people.  The Mayor says that has already cost the village $25,000 in lost funding.  

While the rest of the board expressed their support for the idea, they decided to ask the village attorney to study the idea and come up with an ordinance for the March board meeting.

The long awaited sidewalk along U.S. 51 through Sandoval may finally see construction this summer.  Mayor Kretzer expressed frustration with having to reduce the size of the project because of changes being forced upon them by the Illinois Department of Transportation that awarded the village a $187,000 grant to complete the work three years ago.  

"We have had to shorten the scope from two and a half miles of sidewalk we were going to build shrunk down to about two miles.  We still intend to connect the north end to the south end by a sidewalk all the way through.  We do have to improve drainage.  We do have to do some of the other work ourselves.  We do need to use this grant to connect sidewalks all the way to the grade school and to our businesses along Route 51," said Kretzer.

The sidewalk will now end at the U.S. 51 and old U.S. 51 intersection on the south side of town and at the Taylor Maid on the north side of town.   Kretzer is promising the village will complete the sidewalk down old U.S. 51 to the Colonial Estates Mobile Home Park themselves in the future.   The board voted to pay the CSX railroad $29,845 for permission to have a sidewalk crossing along their tracks.  The payment will cover most of the village's $35,000 match for the project.   

Board member Rick Kretzer dropped a bombshell on the board when he announced his resignation effective on Friday.  Kretzer noted the village was now back in good financial shape and it was time for him to leave.  He refused to reconsider his decision, but promised to continue to help the village on financial issues.   

Two public hearings have been set to discuss the Electric Aggregation Issue that is on the April ninth election ballot.  The hearings will be held at six pm on March fifth and at five pm on March 19th at Sandoval Village Hall.  

The board voted to replace a large front window in the front of the General Martin Building that has a hole from a BB gunshot years ago.  Southern Glass of Centralia will do the work for $920.  

Kretzer announced the village has received a grant to hire a high school drop out full-time for six months.  Sandoval residents who are interested can pick up an application at Sandoval Village Hall.  

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