Homeowner asks elected officials to help with parcel situation

Local News

URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — There’s a new chapter in the saga of a homeowner vs. Nasty Joe’s.

As we’ve been reporting for six months, the company bought part of Kim Harden’s backyard. Nasty Joe’s owns a strip the size of a bowling lane that was up for auction for years, but Harden had no idea, because no one told her, until company representative Brian Nastruz sent harden a letter, telling her he bought the parcel and demanding thousands for it. Neither Harden nor her neighbors got a notification it was even for sale.

On Thursday night, a few of those neighbors went to the Champaign County Board meeting to support Harden as she pressed the board for support or solutions.

“Ms. Harden has paid her property taxes every year, on time,” Joshua Timm told the board, “She has taken care of, and taken pride in that property for over 12 years. And now she has to fight this company, which has a bumbling idiot in charge, over what she has cared for, what she has taken pride in. I believe the county should get its act together and stand behind its citizens.”

“I need help,” said Harden, “I’m no longer asking ‘what can you do to help me?’, because everyone tells me ‘sorry’. I’m telling you, this board sold the property without due diligence, and this board needs to help me make things right.”

There have been efforts to prevent a situation like Harden’s from happening again in the future. County Treasurer John Farney says he’s working to personally notify neighbors of parcels that are up for auction now. The Champaign County GIS Consortium also rolled out a new feature on their website that lets people search for odd-shaped parcels. State Senator Chapin Rose passed legislation that requires neighbors of drainage districts to be told when those are for sale.

Harden says, while all of that is great, none of it helps her in her current situation now. She says she intends to return to county board meetings until someone helps her.

A week ago, we obtained the list of properties that are up for auction now. Nastruz says he intends to put in a bid on all of them. That auction closes on July 6th. To check out that list of those parcels yourself, click here.    

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