Duck Creek land snapped up at auction

June 15, 2012 at 10:40 AM

CANTON — From corn to morels to ducks, bidders had a smorgasbord of reasons to buy land near Duck Creek Power Station on Wednesday.

“We’ll do some mushroom hunting, some deer hunting,” mused Rod Harris, an engineer who lives nearby and plans to use the property with his son. “Overall, I think the price was pretty good here. I think Ameren will be a little worked up.”

Maybe. But even though Jason Wallingford, owner of United Country-Wallingford Group in Quincy, had not yet run the final total, a rough calculation was well more than $3 million. He was handling the sale for Ameren Energy Resources Generating, which offered nearly 1,500 acres of land in 11 parcels at Wednesday’s auction.

“It was a terrific sale,” Wallingford said as he sorted out checks for down payments.

Some of the land had been strip mined, some included lakes, some is rented out to farmers. A standing-room only crowd of roughly 140 people representing all these varied uses had turned out at the Elks Lodge. The successful bidders seemed pleased with their purchases.

Harris, for example, paid $3,000 for each of 196 acres he bought - and thought it was a good deal for prime hunting and fishing land.

“It’s got enough farm ground,” he said. “It pays about half the payment.”

Steven Hedge of Kingston Mines paid $2,600 an acre for a 23-acre parcel where his son and wife can keep horses.

“I was surprised some of the big tracts went as cheap as they did,” Hedge said.

Purchaser of one of the largest parcels, Mike Hitchcock, runs a scrap yard south of Canton. He bought 370 acres at $2,300 each as an investment, he said, although he does hunt ducks.

“Yeah, but I didn’t buy it for that reason,” he said.

Henry Dare raises corn and cattle nearby with his son, Phil. He said they’re using their new purchase to expand their operation.

Bill Phelps, Ameren’s supervisor in real estate, said the properties seemed to sell for fair market value.

“We’re right exactly where we thought we’d be,” Phelps said.

Terry Bibo can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 686-3114.