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Improvements in Waterford subdivision on the way

Updated: September 28, 2012 6:06AM

ELGIN — Repairs and public improvements to a neighborhood in a subdivision built by a developer that fell into bankruptcy are going to be made, due to the diligence of city staff.

City council members recently approved a contract with Copenhaver Construction of Gilberts for $277,933 for work in the Waterford subdivisions along Longcommon Parkway north of Bowes Road and east of Water Road.

The money will come from a bond posted by developer Kimball Hill Homes of Rolling Meadows. City ordinances require the bond in order to guarantee the completion of public improvements within a subdivision.

Councilman Rich Dunne praised city staff for being proactive in pursuing such requirements, which have placed Elgin in a better position than other towns with subdivisions left in the lurch after the housing market crashed four years ago.

Some recent examples in the area, according to published reports, are the Kirk Homes’ development in Elburn, on tenuous ground after the company filed for bankruptcy protection in early 2009; and the Settler’s Ridge subdivision in Sugar Grove, where only a little more than 10 percent of the nearly 1,000 proposed homes there were built when Kimball Hill Homes declared bankruptcy in 2008.

Hampshire benefitted from such an ordinance in 2010 when it received $1.3 million from defunct Park National Bank for work that remained to be done in 641-lot Tuscany Woods subdivision in the village. The work included completing utilities, connecting sidewalks and curbs of existing home sites with bike paths, landscaping, and regrading and completing intersection work on parts of Route 72.

Park National Bank foreclosed on a mortgage in 2008 and took over the 409-acre subdivision from Pasquinelli Homes. That October, federal banking regulators took over Park National’s 31 branches, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. announced that the bank would be taken over by the larger, healthier U.S. Bank.

With the 320-home Waterford subdivision in Elgin, Kimball Hill Homes, posted the security through Continental Insurance Company, but went bankrupt in 2008, leaving some work incomplete. In January, the city settled with the insurer to receive funds to complete the improvements.

The project will include removing and replacing curb and gutter, sidewalk and drive approaches; repairing of pavement, storm sewer structures, sanitary manholes, valve vaults and hydrants; lowering and adjusting water service boxes and restoring a parkway.

The project also will include completing sidewalk and parkway work adjacent to eight remaining undeveloped lots. Replacing dead parkway trees will be done under a separate contract at a later date when weather conditions are more suitable for planting.

Prior to the January settlement, Elgin had already received $505,000, placed in escrow, which must be used to complete various work and pay off expenditures in Waterford.

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