City of New London swaps land with business
Move improves truck traffic at Hilker Warehousing
By Scott Belllie
The New London City Council approved exchanging city-owned land with private property so trucks can access a business more easily.
Hilker Warehousing LLC on South Mill Street at East Cook Street requested the land swap that the city council authorized on Feb. 12. The two entities worked out an equal trade of 5,300 square feet each.
“I just wanted to say this is really helping a business,” Second District Alderman Tom O’Connell said in explaining his “yes” vote on the matter.
The dry warehousing facility – located inside the former Simmons Juvenile Products factory – wants to widen its west-side driveway so semis can turn onto the property with less difficulty.
However, due to a power pole, the company cannot widen that driveway from the south.
By acquiring a piece of city-owned land to the north, the company can widen its driveway and avoid the power pole.
The city owns an approximately 13,000-square foot rectangular parcel along the bend of Mill Street near the Wolf River.
To the west of that parcel is Mill Street and a stretch of narrow public right-of-way that leads to the river.
Hilker Warehousing owns the land immediately to the north, east and south of the city’s property.
Through the swap, the city will lose 5,300 square feet of its parcel to the south but gain an equal amount of land to the north along the Wolf River.
“We talked about just selling the property to [Hilker Warehousing] outright, but we have a sanitary lift station on the northern edge of that property,” city Public Services Director Chad Hoerth stated in a memo to the New London Finance and Personnel Committee. “The swap would allow the city to have a little more land north of the lift station if it’s ever needed for future expansion.”
“One of the big reasons we’re making this land switch is the fact that it is hard for [city workers] to get down to that lift station and do any work,” Third District Alderman Mike Barrington told the New London Finance and Personnel Committee on Feb. 6.
City Administrator Kent Hager told the committee that in acquiring the parcel north of the lift station, city vehicles will have more room to maneuver outside the building. Owning the riverfront land there will be a bonus, he said.