Virginia lake sells for $243,000

September 28, 2011 at 07:39 AM

VIRGINIA — The city of Virginia sold its 18-acre lake and surrounding property for nearly 40 percent more than its appraised value.

Lou Messervy of Cantrall purchased the 62.35 acres for $3,900 an acre during a public auction Monday night. The total sale price came out to $243,165, Virginia city attorney Luke Thomas said.

The land was appraised at $175,000.

“The auction went extremely well from the city’s point of view,” Thomas said.

Messervy could not be reached for comment. It was not immediately clear what he will do with the land.

“He indicated he was undecided as to what he was going to do with it at this point,” Thomas said.

The recent completion of a new public water facility prompted the Virginia City Council to decide to sell the lake property, which formerly was the city’s drinking water source.

The lake’s most recent use was as a public fishing spot. The shelter house, the only structure on the property, is sometimes used for picnics.

Sullivan Auctioneers of Hamilton handled the auction, which drew at least five active bidders, Thomas said.

Virginia city officials hope sale of the lake property will spur development of the site, which is on Virginia’s north side on the west side of Illinois 78, about 30 miles northwest of Springfield.

The city is pursuing creating a tax increment financing district that would extend from the city square and include the lake property, officials said.