GRAFTON - Multiple individuals were honored at the Grafton City Council meeting on June 21.

Grafton Mayor Mike Morrow presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Mr. Stan Gula of Dream Home Realty Centre, Inc., for selling all thirty of the city-owned residential lots in the Grafton Hills subdivision.

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In November 2021, reporter Teri Maddox of the Belleville News-Democrat wrote and published an article about the "free lots" being given away in Grafton. Her story went viral and started the ensuing land rush! Within 24 hours, Stan received over 500 calls and emails from as far away as Canada, eventually culminating in a new owner for every lot. “The deluge of phone calls, emails, and texts we received inquiring about our free lot program was incredible,” said Gula.

Mayor Morrow said, “Because of Stan’s dedication and hard work, Grafton can look forward to welcoming these new residents and families to our historic little river town. The Grafton Hills lot program was a huge success thanks to Teri and Stan.”

Jeremy Heneghan, Manager of the Grafton Branch of Jersey State Bank, was also awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the mayor on behalf of the City Council for his role in planning, organizing, and executing a food collection event for the Grafton Food Pantry.

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“Under Jeremy’s guidance, Grafton and Jerseyville bank employees collected canned goods, packaged entrees, and assorted food items for our Food Pantry. We are grateful to have them as our neighbors and friends,” the mayor said. "Mr. Heneghan delivered the donations in time for sharing on June 15."

Daniel Hasty, son of Ray and Melissa Hasty of Grafton, was recognized by the Council for finishing his Eagle Scout project at Mason Hollow Park. During his report, Nick Hutchens, Director of Public Works, described how Daniel led his troop in this community service project and together they built and installed six flower boxes for the park.

“They look great, and we congratulate Daniel on the completion of this aspect of his Eagle Scout project,” Hutchens said.

Mr. Hutchens also thanked Pace Tree Service of Grafton for donating their time, employees, and bucket lift truck on two separate occasions to re-hang the American flag on its 35’ flagpole at the Visitor’s Center. Nick said, “We had a lot of rain and wind earlier and it created havoc with the flags. Pace Tree Service is consistently there when we need them, and they always go above and beyond to help.”

Photos by City Photographer Dave Sanford

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