HEBRON – Hebron Township was all set Wednesday evening to hold its first meeting in a new township office and garage, despite the fact that the building has yet to receive its certificate of occupancy.
But confronted shortly before the meeting by a code enforcement officer from McHenry County Planning and Development, township leaders decided to push the meeting to Monday and move it back to the old building.
Darrell Moore, principal planner of Planning and Development, said the officer told “those who were going to conduct the meeting” that there shouldn’t be meetings held at the township’s new building, 10206 Seaman Road, Hebron, until a certificate of occupancy is obtained.
“She referenced a couple phone calls that came from the state’s attorney’s office to Hebron Township,” Moore said. He said his department had reached out to Hebron Township Supervisor Steve Schaid earlier in the week, as well, because they’d heard of his plans to hold a meeting at the new building.
Reached by phone Tuesday, Schaid told the Northwest Herald that he was aware the building had not met all permit requirements and that there could be repercussions for holding a public meeting in a building yet to be cleared for occupancy.
“I would imagine there could be,” he said of potential repercussions. “But it’s a hell of a lot better than where we’re coming from, so it’s got to be an improvement.”
Planning and Development confirmed Thursday afternoon that the building still needs a fire inspection from the local fire protection district, clearance from the county’s health department on its septic system, letters of clearance regarding electrical work and the foundation, and accessibility improvements in the bathrooms.
The building, which Schaid said cost about $260,000, has been granted an extension until August on meeting parking lot and landscaping requirements.
“In the full range of things that they have to do to get a certificate of occupancy, they’re very close,” Moore said. “They’re at the end.”
Hebron-Alden-Greenwood Fire Protection District officials were planning to inspect the building Thursday afternoon.
The McHenry County Health Department inspected the septic system Tuesday.
“There were two issues still outstanding, one being that they need to install a meter on their new system, and the second involves the movement of a structure I believe is a trailer on the property in the area of the field,” said Joe Gugle, administrative manager for the health department.
Contractors started on the building about two years ago. Under then-Supervisor Mike Von Bergen, the township received a violation early on for starting to build without a permit. Consistent with the policies of Planning and Development, that violation went away when the township obtained a building permit in April 2011.
Von Bergen stepped down late in the spring of 2012, citing a lack of time to devote to the position because of other engagements.
Moore said that Wednesday’s meeting would have resulted in a violation from Planning and Development, had the township gone through with it.
“After a series of time frames, [that] could lead to action with the state’s attorney, but that’s not an immediate action,” he said.
Schaid said Thursday that he is expecting final touches to be put on the building in the next couple of days, and for it to pass all inspections for a certificate of occupancy by early next week.
“Everything is 99 percent done,” he said.
The rescheduled meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the township’s old office, 9924 Main St., Hebron.
Trustee Jack Proesel, who spoke out earlier this week against holding a meeting at the new building, said he expects Monday’s meeting to be contentious.
“I have an awful lot of questions for Steve Schaid as to what transpired that he thought he could have that meeting,” Proesel said.