W. Dundee to sue Sleepy Hollow Village in sewer service tiff

Nov. 23, 2000
Upset with what they see as feet-dragging, West Dundee has decided to sue Sleepy Hollow for failing to live up to their end of an agreement for sewer service.

By DAVE MANN

Nov 21, 2000 (Chicago Daily Herald)—Upset with what they see as feet-dragging, West Dundee has decided to sue Sleepy Hollow for failing to live up to their end of an agreement for sewer service.

After more than a year of back-and-forth exchanges between the two villages, West Dundee trustees Monday directed Village Attorney Richard Flood to file a lawsuit for breach of contract.

The dispute arises from 10 to 12 homes and an apartment building on or near Willow Lane that use West Dundee's sewer service.

Part of a 1982 agreement for that service obligates Sleepy Hollow to install a meter to accurately measure usage. Right now, West Dundee estimates that usage in the bill it sends to Sleepy Hollow each month, said village manager Joseph Cavallaro.

In the summer of 1999, West Dundee allowed the Homelife store on Route 72 in Sleepy Hollow to also tap into the West Dundee sewer line, but noted it would not permit any more tap-ons to its sewer service until the meter was installed.

A volley of bureaucratically hostile letters flew between the two neighbors over a period of months.

West Dundee officials became upset enough to shut off the sewer service to Homelife. Eventually, and after Homelife threatened legal action, West Dundee relented and allowed the company onto its sewer system.

But the last straw finally came sometime in the past two weeks, when West Dundee officials became aware that a home under construction at 850 Willow Lane had tapped onto that sewer line even though the meter still has not been installed.

"We've been asking and asking and asking, and we get nothing," Cavallaro said. "That's what's frustrating. Then comes 850 Willow Lane with no notification, no inspection."

Saying he has not seen a lawsuit, Sleepy Hollow Village Attorney Mark Schuster declined to comment. Village President Robert Shields could not be reached for comment.

West Dundee Trustee Margaret Jefferson, however, denied one potential criticism of West Dundee deciding to head to the courts - that the move simply is retribution for Sleepy Hollow suing West Dundee for annexing the controversial Pulte subdivision.

"We felt that we've been very patient," Jefferson said. "This is something that has been going on for about a year, and we'd like it resolved."

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