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McIlvaine told to fix water system in house

Published: Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – St. Charles resident Clifford McIlvaine was told in court Thursday that he must make sure his cistern water system is not connected to the city’s water supply or the city will proceed with an application for demolition or repair of the house at 605 Prairie St.

“He was clearly trying to avoid this agreement again, and we are not going to let that happen,” Phil Luetkehans, an attorney for the city of St. Charles, said after Thursday’s court hearing. The hearing was in the courtroom of Judge Thomas Mueller at the Kane County Courthouse in downtown Geneva.

As part of the project, McIlvaine has a cistern water system. A cistern is a tank for storing rainwater. He has signed a court order that he will not use it for bathing or drinking water, and the city wants to make sure the system does not pollute city water.

The water is not currently turned on in the house. Luetkehans said the way the plumbing is set up, the cistern could connect with the city’s water supply if a valve is turned on or if the cistern would leak, “which is obviously what we have been trying to avoid.”

The city of St. Charles wants McIlvaine to comply with a court order to finish a home-improvement project that started in 1975. McIlvaine denied he is trying to avoid the agreement.

“I’m not trying to pull a fast one,” McIlvaine said.

If McIlvaine doesn’t fix the system by his next court hearing Wednesday, Luetkehans said, the city will ask for a court hearing on its application for demolition or repair of the house.

The city sued McIlvaine in 2010, pushing him to get the project finished, and a work schedule later was agreed upon in court. McIlvaine recently had been jailed for two weeks after Mueller found him in contempt of court.

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