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updated: 10/10/2013 4:48 PM

St. Charles could take over McIlvaine project — again

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  • Clifford McIlvaine, who was sued by the city of St. Charles in an effort to get him to finish a project that he first pulled a permit for in 1975, stands on a landing between his original home to the left and new, super-insulated addition on the right, which he hopes to turn into a museum for his and his father's inventions, along with city memorabilia.

      Clifford McIlvaine, who was sued by the city of St. Charles in an effort to get him to finish a project that he first pulled a permit for in 1975, stands on a landing between his original home to the left and new, super-insulated addition on the right, which he hopes to turn into a museum for his and his father's inventions, along with city memorabilia.
    Daily Herald file photo

 
 

It's been more than a year since Clifford McIlvaine, a St. Charles man who was first issued a permit in 1975 for a home improvement project, was supposed to wrap up his work.

Now, city attorneys will ask a judge on Nov. 27 for an order compelling McIlvaine to finish work on his home in the 600 block of Prairie Street.

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The city previously has been allowed to step in, a move granted by Judge David Akemann in May so crews could install a conventional asphalt shingle roof, an exterior staircase and correct safety issues, such as burying an exposed power line in McIlvaine's yard. But in the meantime, the city says McIlvaine hasn't done his share of the work.

"We're now a year after the consent decree was supposed to be completed," City Attorney Phil Luetkehans said during a court hearing Thursday. "There is a consent decree and order from the court for this stuff to be in compliance with the code and it is not."

Luetkehans said McIlvaine still needs to complete several items, with the main item being cleaning up the entire outside of the site.

But McIlvaine said a large brick pile and backhoe are still needed for his project. "The city just arbitrarily wants everything off the site," he said. "I don't think they have a right to require that."

The city sued McIlvaine in late 2010, arguing he had not let the city inspect his property since the building permit was issued and that he was in violation of city safety codes.

McIlvaine eventually signed an agreement, or consent decree, to complete work by September 2012, but missed numerous deadlines in spring 2012. He eventually was found in contempt of court and jailed for two weeks in summer 2012.

Akemann's May ruling allowed the city to complete certain items, such as the roof, staircase and correcting safety issues. Luetkehans said those tasks have been completed, but city didn't want to overstep Akemann's order and that's why work remains.

Also at the November hearing, McIlvaine will ask Akemann to award damages from a July 8 storm in which water leaked through the new roof.

McIlvaine estimated the water caused $40,000 damage to more than 300 "electrical items." He also wants the judge to award damages for fiberglass insulation that McIlvaine says was torn off the roof, but he is still working on an estimate.

"(The city is) acting as a general contractor but they refuse to accept any responsibility," said McIlvaine. "They ordered the roofers to do it. I should be compensated for all the insulation they took off the roof and threw into the Dumpster."

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