An administrative court judge will visit MacArthur Park Apartments, one of Springfield’s largest complexes, next Thursday to review the status of more than 150 alleged code violations. The unusual move was ordered by hearing officer Timothy Londrigan Wednesday morning, despite pleas from the city that the complex be fined immediately.
“We have been working with this situation now since August,” said Bill Logan, the mayor’s executive assistant. “And we have continued to run into ‘We’ll fix it tomorrow. We’ll do it tomorrow. We’ll give you plans. We will draw you pretty buildings. We will promise that we will do the work.’”
Londrigan said the on-site visit should speed up what is expected to be the lengthy process of studying the evidence applying to each individual allegation. The public, however, won’t be allowed on the private property to observe.
Mark Cullen, Springfield’s corporation counsel, said no rulings will be issued during the site visit. Another public hearing will be scheduled for any decisions to be made, he said.
Wednesday’s hearing had been continued two weeks ago to allow the city to re-inspect the complex in the 2700 block of MacArthur Boulevard to see if some of the violations had been fixed. But the city couldn’t gain entry into all of the units in question.
Springfield attorney Don Craven, who represents MacArthur Park’s owner, James Green of Granite City Investment Company, asked the hearing officer to allow a final inspection next week. Violations are to be considered fixed or continuing as of that inspection.
Since the last hearing, a local contractor has been renovating one of the buildings from top to bottom. Craven previously said a plan to complete the remaining repairs will be assembled based on how long the contractor takes to renovate the first building.
Londrigan also ordered the owners of MacArthur Park to allow city inspectors access to any apartment on the property on another date. A representative of the owner must accompany the inspectors.