Machesney Park Village Leaders Vote

By: Nichole Vrsansky
By: Nichole Vrsansky

Village leaders in Machesney Park voted Monday night on whether to authorize seizing property by eminent domain along Interstate 173 to make room for new retail stores.

The Machesney Park Village Board voted to postpone the eminent domain resolution after a property owner says he's yet to receive a fair offer on his land.

Dewey Henninger's excavating company sits at the southeast corner of Illinois 251 and 173. He believes it's a prime location and so does the Village of Machesney Park, who now wants to use the land for retail.

"I just want to be treated fairly. The price they offered me, I can't come close to building what I've got now - not even close," said Henninger.

Henninger's company requires special industrial zoning and his attorney says it cannot easily be relocated.

"It's a unique piece of land. It has private access and there are many things about it that are desirable," said Ben Healy.

Henninger and his attorney are hoping that by postponing the issue, the board will be able to make a reasonable offer for the property.

"I don't know why we have to have a heavy hand. I think if we make a reasonable offer, it would be a buffer for the situation. I see know need for us to be the hatchet," said Board Member Stanley Wentland.

"I think he deserves some breathing room," agreed Board Member Paul Stralow.

First Rockford Group is the company negotiating to buy Henninger's 15-acre parcel. Henninger says his business will be on the line if they don't make a fair offer.

"If they don't, they're gonna put me out of business. I'm 72-years-old, I've been in business 40 years and I can't believe they're doing this to me," Henninger said.

The resolution will now appear before the board on April 12.


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