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GODFREY - Two development projects in Godfrey have stalled as landowners attempt to get triple market value from government entities buying land to develop, creating an uncertain path toward the village's comprehensive plan.

Economic Development Director Jim Mager said he’s been trying to negotiate pricing for right-of-ways on the west end of town for projects near Lars Hoffman Expressway and Pierce Lane, but landowners are asking for more than triple the land’s market value once they find out a government entity is behind the offer.

“I guess what's happening is land prices, when it comes to these public projects, are exploding all over the county,” Mager said. “When they find out some government entity wants to buy the property, all of a sudden, you get offers of three to four times appraised values, and we have the same situation here in the village.

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“I can understand why these landowners are holding out - I mean, when you look at the fiscal policies of both our federal and state governments, inflation is raging, cash is worth nothing, the dollar is devaluing, so if I had property, I wouldn’t sell it either.”

He then explained how this impacts the village as major pieces of their comprehensive plan could be held up in land price negotiations.

What I want you to think about is that the Economic Development Committee is ready to bring you a recommendation for moving forward with the comprehensive plan, and that’s at your next meeting,” Mager added. “How effective can we be at comprehensive planning when we don't know whether land acquisition is going to occur in six months or six years?’

“Before you want to jump in and spend thousands of dollars in terms of developing a comprehensive plan, I do think that’s a large question mark.”

Mager concluded by reiterating that he will bring a recommendation on the comprehensive plan to the Village Board at their next meeting on July 2, 2024.

A full recording of the June 18, 2024 Village Board of Trustees meeting is available at the top of this story or on Riverbender.com/video. All Village Board meetings can also be watched live or on demand on the Riverbender.com Facebook page, Roku app, or YouTube channel.

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