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Judge to decide fate of McIlvaine's St. Charles house next month

Published: Saturday, April 13, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, April 13, 2013 7:01 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – Kane County Judge David Akemann next month will decide what should happen to St. Charles resident Clifford McIlvaine’s home-improvement project, which was started decades ago.

Akemann on May 1 will review a petition by the city of St. Charles to demolish or repair the property at 605 Prairie St., St. Charles. The city asked for a hearing date during Friday’s hearing on the case at the Kane County Courthouse in Geneva.

“I think the city’s patience has worn out with Mr. McIlvaine,” Phil Luetkehans, an attorney for St. Charles, said after the hearing. “The project remains a safety hazard. There are electrical issues that are not done, plumbing that is not done, and you have a roof that’s partly done. These are life safety issues.”

The city last inspected the project Tuesday. McIlvaine started it in 1975.

McIlvaine told Akemann that he would have more time to work on the house if he didn’t have to keep responding to the city’s motions. City officials want McIlvaine to comply with a court order to finish the project. The project was supposed to have been completed by the end of September, according to the order.

The city sued McIlvaine in 2010, pushing him to get the project finished. A work schedule later was agreed upon in court.

McIlvaine had corrected the plumbing system in his house as ordered by the court and St. Charles city officials. McIlvaine had been warned that he had to prevent his cistern water system from connecting to the city’s water supply or the city would proceed with an application for demolition or repair of the house.

A cistern is a tank for storing rainwater.

McIlvaine has signed a court order saying he will not use it for bathing or drinking water, and the city wanted to make sure the system does not pollute city water. He had been jailed for two weeks in 2012 after a judge found him in contempt of court.

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