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updated: 1/17/2014 6:00 PM

Water shut off at Elgin Tower Building

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Water was shut off Friday at the Elgin Tower Building, and condemnation proceedings will begin Tuesday if the bill isn't paid, officials said Friday night.

The Stickling Foundation, which owns the 15-story downtown building, owes the city $1,566.37 in past due water bills, Elgin Councilman John Prigge said.

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City council members were notified late Friday by City Manager Sean Stegall that the water was shut off sometime during the day, Prigge said.

When water, electric or gas services are disconnected, businesses and homes are considered unsafe and cannot be re-entered until services are restored, Prigge said.

Messages left for building manager and director Neal Pitcher were not immediately returned Friday.

The Stickling Foundation has been in talks to sell the 1929 building to Wisconsin-based Gorman & Co. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002, according to its website.

Because Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a holiday, the water will remain shut off at least through Tuesday, Prigge said. If payment is not received, condemnation processes will "proceed promptly" on Tuesday, he said.

"It has happened in the past where they've been very late (with payments), and on the brink of shut off," he said.

"I do know we don't disconnect one day after the due date. It's (first) notices, balances. I'm sure this amount is more than just a one-month bill."

A water leak just over a week ago prompted two tenants -- including the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin -- to move out, leaving only six tenants in the building that once housed up to 32 tenants.

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