An agreement has been reached in an effort to have Cliff McIlvaine, first issued a permit for a construction project at his St. Charles home in 1975, finish work this summer and eventually erect a storage facility for vehicles and construction materials still on his property.
Attorneys representing the city and McIlvaine Friday hammered out the accord, which requires McIlvaine to complete electrical work, clean his property and submit storage facility plans by the end of the month.
McIlvaine's attorney, Philip Piscopo, called the pact "a big step forward."
"The best assurance (the project will be completed) is Mr. McIlvaine finally has direction from the city as to what needs to be done and when it needs to be done," Piscopo said. "Our problem is the city has put new requirements on Mr. McIlvaine."
One example cited was requiring McIlvaine to connect to city water.
The city sued McIlvaine in fall 2010, seeking permission to inspect his home on the 600 block of Prairie Street.
The two sides eventually inked an agreement in fall 2011 for McIlvaine to finish the project by September 2012.
But he missed numerous deadlines and refused to connect to the city water supply, prompting a judge to jail him two weeks for contempt of court.
In May 2013, a different judge, David Akemann, gave the city permission to take over parts of the project, such as installing an asphalt shingle roof and erect a staircase on the property's west side.
Piscopo and McIlvaine said a breakthrough in settlement negotiations came when Akemann suggested that McIlvaine be allowed to erect a storage facility, such as a shed or car port, for vehicles and construction materials.
"They're trying to clear my personal property," McIlvaine said. "I've had stuff on that property for 50 years."
Monday, city officials will examine a large brick pile on McIlvaine's property before returning before the judge on Wednesday to finalize the agreement.
"The brick pile is the major issue. We want it condensed and neat," said Phil Luetkehans, attorney for the city.
The agreement allows McIlvaine to keep the brick pile on his property until May 2018.
No time frame has been set for him to complete the storage facility, but he needs to give the city his plans by the end of this month.
Even if McIlvaine completes all the work, issues still remain.
A different judge in July 2012 ordered a $100-per-day fine for every day McIlvaine's project was behind, meaning he could still be on the hook for about $64,000 plus attorney fees.
The city is waiving the $100-per-day fine from now through July 31, a total of about $11,000.
"We're going to deal with those later," said Piscopo. "For now, everybody just wants to get the project done, including Mr. McIlvaine."