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updated: 1/18/2014 7:05 PM

Building manager: Elgin Tower water bill is paid

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The manager of the Elgin Tower Building says he's paid a past due bill that should reinstate water service and avoid condemnation proceedings next week.

Neal Pitcher, director of The Stickling Foundation, said in a voice-mail message that he paid the $1,566.37 water bill to the city of Elgin on Saturday morning.

"Hopefully we'll have water very soon," he said.

City officials said water service to the 15-story-building was shut off Friday. Last week, the building had six tenants, Pitcher said.

Elgin City Manager Sean Stegall said he couldn't immediately verify the payment. Elgin water bills can be paid via phone, online or by leaving a check in a drop box.

The earliest water can be restored is Tuesday. City offices are closed on Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Pitcher said he was upset the city shut off the water after he'd asked for an extension until Jan. 30.

Wisconsin-based Gorman & Co. has entered a contract to buy and renovate the Tower Building.

Stegall said Pitcher asked for the extension via email, saying Gorman will pay the foundation $12,000 on Jan. 30 to extend the closing for 90 days. However, expecting money from a third party is not reasonable grounds for an extension, Stegall said.

Shutting off water is a measure of last resort, he said.

"In order to grant such allowances, the city asks for consistency in past payments and timely communication from those whom the money is owed. Mr. Pitcher has provided neither in this instance and in previous instances," he said.

"To ignore these facts by not turning off the water would be not only without merit but unfair to all other homeowners and business."

Pitcher was not immediately available to answer questions.

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