Forest-debris-removal deadline is near
Friday, December 08, 2006
by Mickey Ciokajlo
The DiPaolo Co. has removed piles of rubble from the Fullerton Woods Forest Preserve in west suburban River Grove, but it is uncertain whether the company will meet a Dec. 31 deadline for restoring the site.
In 2004, the Cook County Forest Preserve District ordered the removal of the rubble. But efforts to clean up the mess, which had come to symbolize unwelcome encroachment onto forest preserve land, moved slowly.
The Glenview-based company had left the material and its equipment on the site after finishing work on the Deep Tunnel dig.
The district ordered the company off of its land in July 2004, prompting negotiations that dragged on until an agreement was reached earlier this year.
The company is supposed to complete the project by restoring the site--near 5th Avenue and River Road--with seeding and other improvements.
The district has already assessed two fines totaling $175,000 against the company for failing to meet interim deadlines to remove the tons of limestone.
The company put up a $1 million performance bond to ensure the completion of the work by the end of the year.
"That's when we assess the overall situation and say, `Here's what we think you owe us,'" district spokesman Steve Mayberry said.
David DiPaolo, company vice president, said company officials are optimistic that they will be able to meet the Dec. 31 deadline, although he said the snowy weather has not helped.
"We're real close to the completion of our obligations," DiPaolo said. "The ultimate goal is going to be achieved."
DiPaolo said the company was "still evaluating" the fines assessed by the district.
"The base material ended up being a lot thicker than anybody anticipated," DiPaolo said.
Robert Kinchen, the district's chief attorney, said progress has been made on the project, notably the removal of the stone.
"It's totally different than where we were a couple of years ago," Kinchen said.