Another agreement in languishing St. Charles building case
The city of St. Charles and a homeowner who was first issued a building permit in 1975 reached another agreement Thursday to clean up his property.
City officials and the attorney for Cliff McIlvaine say this agreement clears up any misunderstanding from an April pact and requires McIlvaine to clean up his property by the end of November and remove some building materials by Dec. 8.
If not, the city will push for some $24,000 in fines, plus legal fees, that were put on hold this past spring.
"Hopefully, this is the stick that will have Mr. McIlvaine finish what he started," Phil Luetkehans, an attorney for the city, said after Thursday's court hearing.
The city sued McIlvaine in late 2010 in an effort to inspect his home on the 600 block of Prairie Street for code violations and safety hazards.
Both sides eventually inked a deal under which McIlvaine would complete work by September 2012.
But in spring 2012, McIlvaine missed numerous deadlines and refused to connect to the city water supply, a move that landed him in jail for two weeks for contempt of court.
In May 2013, the city asked for and was granted permission to take over certain aspects of the project, including installing a new roof, erecting an exterior set of stairs on the home's west side and burying an exposed power line in McIlvaine's backyard.
The two sides in April 2014 reached yet another agreement and put fines on hold while McIlvaine finished work, cleaned the site and built an storage facility in his backyard to hold construction materials.
McIlvaine's attorney, Phil Piscopo, said this new agreement clears up any misunderstandings in previous documents.
"He believes he did comply (with the spring order)," Piscopo said. "It's usually better to come to an agreement than fight it out."
McIlvaine still has until October 2015 to complete a storage facility on his land to house construction materials.
The two sides are due back in court Dec. 11 to report progress to Judge David Akemann.
Luetkehans said the city is still preparing a final set of fines for McIlvaine from a previous judge's order, as well as a bill for the roof and other work, which will be argued at a future date. The total could exceed $100,000, he said.
Piscopo said they would deal with that issue later. "Right now, we're focused on getting the project complete," Piscopo said.