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Huge pile of stone may land in taxpayers' lap

Monday, April 25, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times
by STEVE PATTERSON

Cook County taxpayers likely will have to pay to get rid of a 140,000 ton pile of stone dumped years ago in Fullerton Woods -- but a lawsuit is just as likely to be filed to recoup the cash.

DiPaolo Construction Co. agreed in 1996 to remove the rock -- originally from Chicago's Deep Tunnel project -- by 2000. But repeated extensions and threats by the Cook County Forest Preserve District haven't eliminated the pile of rocks in River Grove.

Last week, commissioners set the stage for a legal showdown --ready to hire another contractor to remove the stone, then demand payment from DiPaolo.

DiPaolo again asked for more time to remove the rock -- which started out as 1.2 million tons of mostly limestone and is now down to about 140,000 tons of what company officials said is fine, undesirable limestone mix.

Lawsuit threatened

But district officials -- who suspect the site was also used to store other material, and who locked DiPaolo out of the site in August -- said they're done giving extensions and want everything gone.

DiPaolo paid the district $1 million for the rights to the stone, which the company sold for a profit.

The firm hinted it could file its own suit if another contractor is now tapped.

 

 



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