MOUNT PLEASANT — In what is normally a routine process — the Mount Pleasant Village Board approving land purchase offers — some drama was injected into a meeting Monday which delayed the purchase of two parcels.
The land the village purchased is related to the Foxconn Technology Group project, which is set to break ground sometime in the spring.
The Village Board was considering two parcels of land on Wheaton Lane owned by Sara and Shawn Mayer, which would have totaled slightly more than $1 million, when attorney Tom Devine stood up and told the board: “I’m sorry, there was no proposal from the Mayers to sell to the village.”
Claude Lois, project manager for the village, said he received the list of properties from attorney Alan Marcuvitz, who has been contracted by the village to work on the Foxconn project.
Eventually, the board voted to reconsider purchasing the property after the negotiation process is complete.
Devine, who represents several property owners who sold their land to the village, said the Mayers were hoping to reach an agreement before the Monday meeting.
Devine said he will continue to negotiate with the village on behalf of the Mayers “and see if we can find an acceptable value that (the village is) willing pay.”
“We expect the negotiation to produce better numbers,” Devine said. “We’ve been talking to them for months and those (offers presented) were earlier numbers.”
Lois said there was obviously a “disconnect” and he knows there have been many discussions, but did not know that the deal was unfinished.
More land purchased, invoices paid
The village did purchase seven properties on Monday for almost $6 million.
In a majority of the instances in which the village has bought property related to Foxconn, the owners have come to the village to make their own offers. One aspect fairly new to the process was the Village Board approving two properties that were sold after offers by the village.
This marks a turning point in the land acquisition process as the village moves forward to secure the area in the village for the project.
“I envision you’ll see more of us making the offers now,” Lois said, adding property owners can still approach the village to sell their property without the village making them an offer.
Overall, Lois said he believes the negotiations have been going well despite the long process.
“They’re coming in almost every day,” Lois said of the village receiving emails from property owners accepting offers. “We’re trying to get back to them as fast as we can to try and address their concerns and try to make the process as painless as possible.”
On Monday, the village also approved invoices related to the Foxconn project totaling $2.4 million.
The invoices break down:
- Racine Water and Wastewater Utilities: $1,142,476.49
- Advance Contraction Inc.: $873,681.48
- Dk Contractors: $334,857.52
- Von Biesen: $105,150.11