By Kevin Kelley
The worst they can say is no.
That was the attitude Mayor Eileen Patton had this summer when she wrote to the owner of a vacant lot at the corner of West 227th Street and Lorain Road. Her request – that the property be donated to the city.
In a June 6 letter to Geoff Lynden, CEO of TrueNorth Energy, Patton asked the company to donate the property, approximately one-third of an acre, to the city. Formerly home to a gas station, the land had been vacant since March 2009, the mayor noted.
“As the city of Fairview Park has conducted numerous master plans to actively enhance our Lorain Road business district, this area has been under discussion with our residential and business leaders serving on our master plan process,” Patton said in her letter.
The company had been required to pay $4,277 annually in property tax, an obligation that would end if the land was donated to the city, Patton argued.
Earlier this month, Lynden informed Patton that the company would indeed donate the property, which will be placed in the city’s land bank. Eventually it could be used for parking or streetscape beautification or sold for new construction.
The city and TrueNorth agreed to split the closing costs associated with the property transfer, Patton said. The total market value of the two parcels donated by TrueNorth is $126,000, according to county records. TrueNorth operates or supplies 320 Shell-brand gas stations and convenience stores in three Midwestern states.