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Morton Grove to buy Forest Preserve land for $295,000
Morton Grove Champion

Monday, December 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune
by Daniel I. Dorfman

The Village of Morton Grove is set to spend nearly $300,000 to purchase a parcel of property from the Cook County Forest Preserve District. One of the village’s water pumping stations is located on the land.

At its Dec. 9 meeting, Morton Grove’s village board unanimously approved the purchase, which village staff had requested.

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Morton Grove and the Cook County Forest Preserve District board are executing an intergovernmental agreement so the village can acquire the approximately 3.5 acre parcel. It sits at the northwest corner of Oakton Street and Caldwell Avenue in Morton Grove.

Besides being home to the village’s southern water pumping station, the property also contains an underground reservoir and above-ground service building, according to Village Administrator Ralph Czerwinski.

The two sides to the deal have been working under a licensing agreement since the late 1950s for Morton Grove to use the property, village documents show. However, staff now believes it would be better for the village to own the land.

“Sometimes it is a little difficult to get through county processes to enhance security to enhance the water supply,” Czerwinski said. “The staff believes this is a good action for the village.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security website states that water sources could be vulnerable to criminal attacks and natural disasters. Many municipalities have taken security measures to protect public health.

Czerwinski said it was possible the village could have another use for the property in the future for the benefit of Morton Grove for “the health and safety of our community.”

The contract said the total amount of the sale is not to exceed $295,000. It would be payable in 10 installments starting June 1, 2021 and stretching through 2030, but it could be completed earlier, Czerwinski said.

Forest Preserve District Commissioner Larry Suffredin said the two sides have been talking about this project for a couple of months.

“It is surplus land that is not connected to any of the Forest Preserves. We felt it much better for them to own the land where their water source is,” said Suffredin.



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