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County wants to transfer land to Madison County Transit for green space

Officials are planning to preserve green space in Edwardsville as development continues along Governors’ Parkway.

In February, Madison County is set to discuss transferring a tract of land south of Governors Parkway and west of Plum Street to Madison County Transit.

“We have six tenths of an acre we want to transfer to MCT for green space,” Chairman Kurt Prenzler said. “Governors’ Parkway cuts through the land that was the county’s and could not be used for development due to its size and current easements.”

The county’s acreage, along with Illinois Department of Transportation easements, is around three acres.

“The county reached out to MCT about taking over the land and there was interest,” Prenzler said.

MCT Director SJ Morrison said the MCT board passed a resolution Wednesday to accept the transfer of real property from the county. He said that once the County Board takes action MCT would have an environmental assessment done before it takes ownership.

“MCT is interested in the property to build a trailhead connection,” Morrison said. “It will allow for the connection of Goshen Trail to the retail and restaurants along Governors’ Parkway and Plum Street.”

Prenzler said that recently work started on the tract of land southeast of the county’s property, which included removal of trees.

“The property currently being developed was a nursery in Glen Carbon,” he said. “Once the developers started taking out the trees everyone noticed the loss of green space.”

He said it was at the same time the county announced it was selling 15.41 acres of land at Plum Street and Governors’ Parkway and many thought it was the county’s land. The county owns around 150 parcels, many of which are within conservation areas and flood zones and are unable to be developed, Prenzler said.

County Board member Erica Conway-Harriss of Glen Carbon said she received dozens of emails from constituents concerned about the loss of green space in Edwardsville.

“Business and community can successfully exist through thoughtful planning and development,” Conway-Harriss said. “I’m happy the county and MCT could collaborate to achieve this goal and maintain green space.”

PHOTO: MCT has miles of bikeways throughout the county. This is a scene along the Quercus Grove Trail outside of Hamel. File photo.

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