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updated: 7/13/2012 5:54 PM

Judge cracks down on man and his three-decade home project

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  • Clifford McIlvaine, at his St. Charles home last year, will be fined $100 per day the next time he misses a deadline, a Kane County judge said Friday.

       Clifford McIlvaine, at his St. Charles home last year, will be fined $100 per day the next time he misses a deadline, a Kane County judge said Friday.
    James Fuller | Staff Photographer

 
 

Saying putting Clifford McIlvaine in jail "would not accomplish anything," Kane County Judge Thomas Mueller Friday said he will impose fines on the St. Charles man if he doesn't start meeting deadlines on his 37-year home addition project.

Mueller said that from Friday forward, McIlvaine will be fined $100 a day for each additional day the project remains behind schedule.

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McIlvaine was found in contempt of court in May for failing to meet several construction deadlines imposed by the court aimed at finishing the project, which included moving a garage, by Oct. 5. The city sued in 2010.

The deadlines were spelled out in a consent order McIlvaine and the city agreed to in August 2011. At that time, McIlvaine had an attorney. He now represents himself in court.

McIlvaine argued Friday the city is holding up the roof completion because it is asking for "irrelevant" proof about the fire resistance of the foam material he wants to install. But he said the manufacturer has agreed to send him a letter about the fire ratings, and that he expects to receive it in a few days.

The city's attorneys had asked the judge to prohibit McIlvaine from being on his property during construction hours, and "let Mr. Webb finish the project." McIlvaine hired Jim Webb, a longtime friend and owner of Royal Builders, in September 2011. The attorneys contend delays are due to McIlvaine interfering.

They told the judge McIlvaine still hadn't told the city how he plans to connect his sinks and tubs to a city water supply line. McIlvaine uses rainwater collected in a cistern for cooking and personal hygiene. The city filed a separate action against him for that.

McIlvaine argued that doesn't apply to the case the city brought against him for the building delays, saying that the cistern was built with the house 85 years ago. He has lived in the house his whole life. "It is a totally separate issue. ... The system is working fine," he said. He has previously said publicly he had no intention of complying with the consent order, saying the water was safer than city water.

Incredulous, Mueller asked, "You're telling me nothing has been done with the water?" He reminded McIlvaine that the consent order specified that the water would be converted to a city supply. The deadline was March 19.

"Understand: This is one issue of the completion of the building," Mueller told him.

Mueller ruled that if McIlvaine doesn't submit code-compliant plans for the roof by Wednesday, he will consider putting McIlvaine in jail. McIlvaine's next court date is Thursday.

"The court has to keep a short rein on this case because days and weeks and months go by -- and I'm not even going to talk about the stuff back to 1977 -- which this court finds offensive," Mueller said.

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