The proverbial light can be seen at the end of the tunnel for a St. Charles man's home improvement project that began in 1975, included a two-week jail stint for contempt of court, and ended with a judge's order to let the city finish the job.
Cliff McIlvaine and city officials are next due in court Oct. 10.
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By then, city attorney Phil Luetkehans hopes new garage doors will have been installed at McIlvaine's home in the 600 block of Prairie Street, along with completion of some minor fascia work and removal of an aboveground tank on the property.
"Our goal is to have that done well before Oct. 10," he said after a court hearing Wednesday before Kane County Judge David Akemann.
In early May, after months of court appearances and a two-week jail stint for McIlvaine for refusing to honor an agreement to connect to the city water supply, Akemann signed an order allowing the city to complete repairs and bill McIlvaine for the work.
The work included an asphalt shingle roof, burying an exposed electrical line in his yard, and installing an exterior stairwell on his home's west side.
The city sued McIlvaine in late 2010, arguing he had not let inspectors on his property since he was first issued a building permit in 1975. The two sides reached an agreement for McIlvaine to complete the work by September 2012, but McIlvaine missed numerous deadlines in early 2012, sparking a contempt of court hearing.
Luetkehans noted that the city's portion of the work is almost done, but McIlvaine still has debris on the site and other code violations to correct on his own.
McIlvaine, who is acting as his own attorney, is still fighting the city to a certain extent. He has not physically interfered with construction, but is arguing the city had no right to install the exterior stairwell.
McIlvaine also is seeking damages because a roofing contractor's tarp came loose during an early July 2013 storm, allowing water inside his home addition.
Luetkehans said McIlvaine is working with the roofer's insurance company to settle the matter.
McIlvaine said the water caused an estimated $15,000 damage to "all kinds of electronic stuff," but declined to answer more questions before walking away outside of court.