Jacksonville aldermen voted unanimously to sell property at 1013 East Morton Avenue during Monday’s City Council meeting.
That property is the former Oaks apartment complex, which Jacksonville Mayor Andy Ezard describes as having been run-down, inoperable and unlivable for a five-year period.
“It’s been in municipal court for a long time with the past landowners, and finally, something’s going to be done, and we’re very happy about that,” he says.
Assessment information from this summer provided by the Morgan County Geographical Information System indicates the property is valued at $18,600. That’s a dramatic drop from the 2014 assessment, which had the land and building at just under $700-thousand.
Ezard says there aren’t currently any plans for development, but that the city hopes developers will take a hard look at the property.
“It’s in a really good location on Morton Avenue. I just see that there’s a lot of potential in this property,” Ezard says. “Years ago, the Oaks Apartments [which are] run down and not operable anymore, was definitely some of the nicer apartments in the city at that time. They’ll have to be demolished, they’re unsalvageable.”
1013 East Morton has come up in several meetings this year.
According to minutes provided by the Morgan County municipal website, the county received a letter from City Attorney Dan Beard stating the city had purchased the property, and asked the county for all unpaid taxes and liens.
We asked Morgan County Commissioner Brad Zeller if that was a common practice, and he said it was infrequent for a property of that size.
More recently, at an August Jacksonville City Council meeting, Alderman Mike Wankel said he received several complaints about an overgrown lot on the property.