When Gayle Frey, the owner of Frey Properties of Highland LLC, was surveying some newly acquired land, he learned something very interesting. He actually was the rightful owner to land the city of Highland thought it held for the last 30 years.
Frey acquired the former Wicks Organ Co. factory, located at 1100 5th St., back in January. As the land was being surveyed, Frey learned the factory grounds also included three adjacent parcels that included Hoffman Park and sections of Pine Street.
“I was like, ‘Wow, I own half a playground now,’” Frey joked.
Frey said it is natural for properties and boundary markers to gradually move over time, and he has discovered small discrepancies while surveying lands before. But this was something he had never quite experienced.
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City Manager Mark Latham said that the Wick family dedicated the land in question to the city in 1987 in order to build Hoffman Park. However, Latham said it appears that the city attorney at the time failed to record the land dedication, so the city has never really had claim to the park and the adjacent properties.
Frey said he did not have any designs on having a park. He wanted to do what he thought was the right thing, so he signed the land back over to the city.
“We corrected the problem, and everything turned out OK,” Frey said.
During the regular Highland City Council meeting Aug. 21, the council approved a land-put agreement that would allow Frey to quit his claim to two of the parcels in question and give them back to the city at no cost to either party. These parcels included where the park is now and a section of Pine Street.
As for the initial land dedication, Scott Wick, the president of Wicks Organ Co., said he remembers when the land was given to the city but had forgotten that his family had even owned the property. He said with all the confusion aside, he is just glad the city was still able to put the land to a good use.
“It is a nice little park,” Wick said.
The council approved a rezoning recommendation from the Combined Planning and Zoning Board for the Wicks Pipe Organ factory building, located at 1100 5th St. The property was rezoned from Industrial to a C3 Highway Business.
Street closure approved
The council approved a request from the Highland High School Homecoming Parade committee for street closures for the 2017 homecoming parade. The parade will be Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. The parade will be the same route as the 2017 parade. It will travel from the Highland Community Unit School District Lindenthal Campus west on Lindenthal then up Washington Street, ending at the downtown square.
Block Party request approved
The council approved a request from Terry Miles, a representative for the Champion Park block party Sept. 9. Miles requested that part of South Port Drive be blocked of with barricades provided by the city from 2:30 to 9 p.m. for safety purposes. Miles said that most of his neighbors would still have access to their homes and driveways, only his and one other neighbors property will be blocked by the closure.
The council approved Mayor Joe Michaelis’s recommendation to reappoint Shirley Lodes to the city’s Combined Planning and Zoning Board. Lodes’s term would have expired on Aug. 31. In a memo, Michaelis said Lodes is a long-serving member of the CPZB and has agreed to serve another term, which will expire on Aug. 31, 2022.
HCS contracts approved
The council approved an affiliation agreement, an omnibus agreement, and the renewal of a license agreement between Highland Communication Services and other network entities. The HCS Director of Technology and Innovation Angela Imming said, in a memo, these contracts renew agreements between HCS and the ESPN, SCRIPPS and Fusion networks.
The contracts has a negligible increase in price over the the next four years, according to Imming, but as the company moves forward, increases in video will be considered to off-set the price.
Sportsman Road bid awarded
The City Council approved the awarding of a construction contract for the reconstruction of Sportsman Road in from of the Rural King store. The contract will be between the city and Bruce Concrete Construction in Granite City for about $165,826. This is a budgeted project for the city’s Street and Alley Division.
Director of Public Works Joe Gillespie said that the section of the road under construction will be from Northtown Way to the western edge of Rural King. Gillespie said this section of the concrete road has “prematurely deteriorated.” He estimated that his section of road will be closed when construction starts around mid-September and will be closed for about four weeks until the repairs are finished, weather permitting.
“Rural King will have access from the existing rear entrance behind Tri Ford,” Gillespie said.
Bid award for sewer extension
The council OK’d a construction contract for the Highland Road water sewer extension project to Gelly Excavating & Construction in Highland for about $202,830. This is a budgeted project for the Water Distribution and Sewer Collection Division.
The extension will help the city to service several properties on Highland Road, which were recently annexed into city limits. The mains will extend from the end of Monroe Street, near Eaton B-Line, and will run along the east and south property lines of the Drake property to Korte & Luitjohan Contractors Inc.
Transfer of Graves
The council approved the transfer of ownership for two grave spaces in the Highland City Cemetery from Timothy L. Rutz to Nancu Zaloga .