City sells rail access property to local business


EVANSTON — After some officials recently wondered if the City of Evanston should be in the real estate business, the city has one less property to worry about. Bids for rail access property owned by the city were accepted at City Hall earlier this month, where it sold for the minimum bid of $250,000.

Conducting the bidding process for the city on June 6 was Evanston Community Development Director Rocco O’Neill. Attending the auction were the three owners of DustBusters — Jonathan Prete, Craig Prete and Nathan Prete. Gordon Moore of Cardwell Distributing, a RelaDyne Company, and Evanston City Attorney Dennis Boal also attended.

The rail access site that sold contains approximately eight fenced acres consisting of four lots with two rail sidings and two vehicle entrances to the property. Track 826 is owned by the city, and track 825 is leased by the city from Union Pacific. The site is zoned as industrial established.  

The location is two miles from Interstate 80, three miles from the airport, five miles from Highway 89, and 80 miles from Salt Lake City. Items on the property include a 100-foot truck scale, a boiler with all underground infrastructure, one Williams Scotsman 36-foot by 10-foot mobile office, a truck loading rack, rail pump, asphalt reclaimer, steam and condensate piping and product piping for up to nine rail tank cars on either track.

O’Neill started the bidding process by setting a minimum bid of $250,000. He said there will be a bid to begin, and if there wasn’t a counterbid, the bid would be the sale price.  

The DustBusters representatives accepted the bid and offered the full amount of $250,000.  There was no counterbid. O’Neill accepted the offer and closed the bidding process.  

Attorney Dennis Boal advised DustBusters to have a check for $250,000 to O’Neill at City Hall within 24 hours. Boal said he would prepare a resolution authorizing the sale and execution of the deed for the property and bill of sale to DustBusters. The resolution came before the Evanston City Council for a vote last week, which was approved unanimously.

Boal thanked DustBusters for the bid and wished them success on the growth of their business. 

Craig Prete asked about the track that UP owns and what the lease agreement involves. Boal said they would have to reach an agreement of their own with UP for that track. Prete explained he was just curious as the tracks are not something they will currently use for their business but might consider in the future.

“The City of Evanston is extremely excited that we were able to auction off our rail property to DustBusters,” O’Neill said after the auction. “DustBusters is an Evanston-grown company that operates in six states. Because of their success, they are rapidly out-growing their current property in Willow Park. Economic development starts with our local businesses, and 80 percent of job growth in local economies occurs through the expansion of existing business.  This acquisition allows DustBusters to grow organically right here in Evanston. This is the type of economic development the City of Evanston loves to see.”

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