Free Property Offer

The Village of Union is making the offer to someone who sees opportunity in a 72’ by 135’ parcel on the south side of its Main Street, which is also on Highway 34 about a mile west of Highway 75.

There is some investment that will need to be made. The village’s offer says the following must be agreed to: (1) Remove and/or demolish the current structures on the premises or refurbish the current structure, to include the south retaining wall, no later than October 1st, 2012. (2) Place a commercial structure on the property no later than September 1st, 2013.

Union Village Clerk Melissa Hansen talked with longtime residents about the history of the property.

Charles Attebery ran an International Harvester and Chevy dealership there in the 1950s and 1960s. Then sometime in the 1970s, Ray Wysel purchased the property and used it as an automotive repair business and also stored his Studebakers there.

Eventually the building became dilapidated. In 2005 the village board declared the property to be a public nuisance and eventually prevailed in a civil nuisance trial.

But the property was still not cleaned up, so Union purchased the property for $12,500 with the intention of erecting a community building there and sought funding. The funding sources never came through so nothing was ever done with the building.

In 2008, a windstorm blew the building down. It was not covered under the village liability insurance policy.

Which brings the situation to where it is now with the village looking for a private owner since it is still not in the position to do anything with the property.

The idea fits in with what citizens appear to want. “Union United, Inc. conducted a community needs survey in 2010 and a priority theme in the responses was that the residents wanted the Main St. cleaned up so we could attract new businesses and encourage growth,” said Hansen.

A special committee will review the applications with a decision to be made by the Union Village Board of Trustees in May. Applications are due by April 15th, 2012.

Application terms are available at

An aerial view of the property location is at

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