Former animal shelter will be auctioned off

Published: 4/9/2008 12:09 AM

Just days after celebrating the opening of a new animal control facility in Crystal Lake, McHenry County officials moved forward Tuesday with plans to sell its old shelter to the highest bidder.

The county board's management services committee voted unanimously to put the Woodstock kennel and the 2 acres it sits upon on the auction block.

The decision reverses some earlier resistance by board members to sell the property about a mile east of the county government campus. That resistance dwindled after a consulting firm hired to develop long-range facility plans for the county said the property was of little or no use.

"I think we have a consensus that we want to declare this surplus property and sell it," committee Chairwoman Tina Hill said.

The county already has a $180,000 offer for the property, but officials believe they can do better through an auction. They expect to set that $180,000 offer as the minimum bid at auction.

Besides seeking a better price, officials said it was important to be transparent with the process and sell the land in a public forum.

"It'll be open to the general public, so if anyone wants to come in with a higher bid they can," Hill said.

McHenry County Animal Control vacated the shelter last month to move to a new home in a 16,500-square-foot former office building along Northwest Highway in Crystal Lake. Officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony there Friday.

It is expected that whoever buys the property will tear down the 4,000-square-foot kennel and use the land for another, probably residential, purpose.