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And the owner is ...

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 2:40 p.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 3:47 p.m. CST

SPRING VALLEY — The new Route 89 bridge project unearthed information that Hall Township does not own the land for Barto, but instead, the state of Illinois does. Mayor Cliff Banks told the city council on Monday this will likely not impact current or future projects.

“It’s not going to change a thing,” Banks said. “The state didn’t even know that they owned it.”

The Illinois Department of Transportation discovered the ownership while researching the Route 89 bridge project. For more than 30 years, the city, state and township believed Hall Township owned the property and had given the Walleye Club permission to take care of the area as well as make improvements.

Banks, who is also a member of the Walleye Club, said the club has made many improvements throughout the years, including new bathrooms, heated sheds for eating food during tournaments and extending the parking area.

They already are in the process of getting permission to put a berm at Barto Landing, which would allow it to become a harbor. Banks said the state has given the club permission to continue with its plans.

In other business, the council announced a new stop sign at Cleveland Street and Lawrence Avenue.

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