By Jean Lotus
The Forest Park Village Council on Monday is slated to vote to solicit bids for the purchase of a 9-by-30-foot ribbon of village-owned land at 1000 Beloit Ave.
According to Village Administrator Tim Gillian, the sliver of land is used as an access path for a residential property to the south, whose owner approached the village about buying the land, which is outside the fence of what has been turned into a village-owned park.
The land runs east to west along the rear portion of the adjacent residential property to the south.
"We don't know why, but we discovered this odd shape when the village made the purchase," Mayor Anthony Calderone said. "It would make best sense for the property owner to the south to bid on this as it would square off his property."
The property sits across the street south of Ed's Way Finer Foods and has been a vacant corner park since a derelict pair of two-flats were torn down in 2008.
The village paid $330,000 for the entire parcel at the top of the real estate market in 2007. The property was acquired from the estate of Mohinder Sharma, who died shortly before the sale.
At the time, Mayor Anthony Calderone said he favored using the land to build a police substation on the south end of town. Commissioners Theresa Steinbach and Patrick Doolin voted against the sale at the time, complaining there was no plan for what would go there.
The plot is now filled with grass and is dotted with benches. The lot is zoned for high-density residential property.
Gillian said it would be too expensive to have the walkway surveyed and appraised and would be easier to just announce the village would solicit bids for the land.
If they get a bid, the village will sell the land, Calderone said.