A Kane County judge Thursday ordered a St. Charles homeowner, who has had a home addition and construction project languishing since 1975, to stay away from workers at the site and not meddle in a roof project.
St. Charles city officials sued Clifford McIlvaine in late 2010 in order to inspect an addition to his home in the 600 block of Prairie Street.
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McIlvaine and city officials signed a consent decree requiring him to complete work by late September 2012, but he missed numerous deadlines, was found in contempt of court and fined $100 per day that the project is late by Judge Robert Mueller.
Thursday, Jim Webb, owner and president of Royal Builders, a firm contracted by McIlvaine to help him with the project, said he has to argue with McIlvaine virtually every step of the way on an intricate, sculptured roof on the property that has a completion date of Dec. 5, 2012.
"This is mind-boggling to me," Mueller said at one point during the hearing, in which McIlvaine said he was forced under duress to sign the consent degree, blamed construction delays on being sued, and claimed he was nearly $500,000 in debt and might declare bankruptcy.
In the end, Mueller got McIlvaine to agree to transport all the materials -- metal, fiberglass, and insulation, to name a few -- to the work site to avoid future delays and to quit arguing with Webb about the project.
"What I am looking for is a commitment from you that you will not interfere with the decision-making from here on out," Mueller said.
After the hearing, Webb said the roof will cost about $125,000 to complete and McIlvaine has guaranteed payment to Webb buy putting up other properties as collateral.
"He's not going to have to heat (the home) or cool it. It's a green house. It's a green roof. You're insulating the house from the outside in. Once we get this done, the house is done basically. We have everything about 90 percent finished," said Webb, who noted he is not charging McIlvaine for his own labor. "I made an agreement, (gave) my promise and my word. I'm going to help him finish the project."
McIlvaine is due back in court Aug. 16 to show how he plans to connect to the city water supply, which was another part of the agreement.
If not, St. Charles City Attorney Phil Luetkehans, who has maintained that they just want the project completed, said he would not rule out asking Mueller for more severe penalties.
"We're not foreclosing any possible avenue to get that project finished as soon as possible," he said.