St. Charles ‘satisfied,’ but work remains for homeowner’s project

St. Charles officials appear to be satisfied with the progress — albeit slow and behind schedule — on a home remodeling project that started in 1975.

Cliff McIlvaine was supposed to finish work on an addition to his home in the 600 block of Prairie Street a week ago according to an agreement he signed last year.

But McIlvaine has fallen months behind, missed key deadlines, spent two weeks in jail for contempt of court and, as of last week, has pushed city officials to the point where they were going to request that a judge allow the city to make repairs and bill McIlvaine for them — or demolish the home completely.

Wednesday, it was a different story, as city officials reported McIlvaine and a construction firm he’s hired were making progress on electrical work and exterior brickwork.

“I’ve been told by the city they’re satisfied with the work that has been done, so that’s good news,” Kane County Judge Thomas Mueller said to McIlvaine, who left the hearing without comment.

Phil Luetkehans, an attorney for the city, said afterward that the impending cold weather was going to delay work on McIlvaine’s roof and it won’t be done until spring because it must be above 40 degrees for workers to install foam insulation in the roof.

Luetkehans also said McIlvaine had removed a valve that would have allowed him to essentially use water from a cistern, instead of city provided water, for drinking and bathing.

“It’s moving along OK and it looks like it’s been worked on on a regular basis,” Luetkehans said of the project in general. “It’s slower than we would hope, but it’s progressing.”

The two sides are tentatively due in court next Wednesday, but if the work continues and the city does not object, McIlvaine won’t be due in court until Oct. 24.

“It’s progressing. We wish it was progressing faster. But we are going to be diligently following this and pushing Mr. McIlvaine to finish the project as soon as possible,” Luetkehans said.

McIlvaine also has been fined $100 per day since July 13 because he’s behind on the project.

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