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Kostka and Village Back in Court Today

A status hearing is set for 9 a.m. this morning in the case of the Village of Palatine vs. Warren Kostka. The judge stated at the last court hearing that she would not let the case linger.

Warren Kostka, Palatine resident and former village councilman, is headed back to court this morning after receiving a one month extension in the case against him brought by the Village of Palatine. 

The status hearing will be held at 9 a.m. at the Rolling Meadows Courthouse, and is expected to address, in part, village compliance issues at Kostka's home, located at 108 N. Forest Avenue. 

Palatine Village Manager Reid Ottesen said those issues include: 

  • Debris around the property that needs to be removed
  • The driveway in need of repair
  • Boards coming off the windows need to be stablized/removed
  • Gutters and downspouts need to be installed
  • Tarps on the windows and roof need to be addressed

Kostka said in an interview Tuesday with Palatine Patch that he has gotten estimates for not only tearing down and rebuilding the home, but also addressing issues on a portion of the house. 

"It would cost me at least $300,000 for a new house, handling a part of it would cost about $175,000," Kostka said. 

He did however, express concern that even if he built a new house, he could again be back in the situation he is in currently, based on being at the "bottom of the funnel" where water travels during severely heavy rainfall. 

Ottesen said the village is frustrated with the lack of progress made by Kostka in dealing with the compliance issues. 

"He hasn't done what he was supposed to do back in August, we want compliance. When [Kostka's] attorney asked to let it go until the end of the year, we objected. We filed court papers in March, and Judge Hoffman said she will not let this linger," Ottesen said. 

Ottesen added that Kostka was orderd to comply with all issues that are not structural in nature. Based on reports from a structural engineer Kostka hired, Ottesen said the conclusion was that nothing was precluding him from making repairs. 

Kostka, who has lived in the home since 1983, said the issue has been a continual one for the last 25 years. He acknowledged the close to $1 million diversion project in the spring the village completed in order to improve the situation could help the situation, but said it doesn't change the damage that has already been done. 

"Hopefully the village has stopped the water, but they have desroyed my house," Kostka said. 

Ottesen said the village has tried to work with Kostka for years. 

"We've had conversations about various aspects of [Kostka's] property, through all those discussions, there has never been resolution. Meanwhile, the neighbors have had such an adverse impact on their lives and their property," Ottesen said. 

Ottesen pointed to more recent discussions where easement rights were discussed for installation of a storm sewer, but an agreement couldn't be reached with Kostka. The improvements will now be made on a neighbor's property to the north of Kostka's home to further address water issues. 

"We remain committed to putting an inlet into both Kostka's and the neighbor's property, if they would grant the easement to the property," Ottesen said.  

Kostka firmly believes the issues stem from a sewer separation project in the late 1970's and early 1980's where some of the plans for new storm sewers were taken out. 

"That meant water from 67 acres channeled right at my property, I don't like being blamed for that," Kostka said. 

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