ST. CHARLES – Officials from the city of St. Charles say they are hopeful that Friday's court ruling will be one step closer to mitigating safety hazards at the home of St. Charles resident Clifford McIlvaine.
Following closing arguments in a decades-old case, Kane County Judge David Akemann ruled in favor of the city of St. Charles on Friday afternoon, allowing the city to proceed with repairing McIlvaine's property at 605 Prairie St., St. Charles.
"I and the city both believe the judge listened to the evidence and made a very clear, clean ruling in compliance with the law," said Phil Luetkehans, an attorney for St. Charles. "Hopefully, we're one step closer."
McIlvaine started the project in 1975. The city sued McIlvaine in 2010, pushing him to get the project finished. A work schedule later was agreed upon in court.
City officials want McIlvaine to comply with a court order to finish the project.
The city will now start the process of correcting several items deemed unsafe and dangerous. Luetkehans said the city plans to correct an unfinished roof; remove debris and construction materials in the front lawn; add flashing and brick to windows and doors; add a stairwell guard rail; add a stairwell to a second exit from the structure; cover exposed electrical wiring; and adding fire-rated materials door and wall covering between the home and the garage.
The city is now able remove materials from the yard and place them in a storage facility of the city's choosing. Akemann made it clear that McIlvaine cannot interfere with the city carrying out the court's order.
McIlvaine said he wasn't surprised by Friday's outcome.
"I expected it," he said. "... I respected [Akemann's] decision."