Essex cleanup deadline passed, city waiting to evaluate land

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A deadline for AW Bennett, the property owners of the old Essex wire plant off N. Main, has passed, but it’s not yet clear if they cleaned the site sufficiently to not face further punishment.

Last week, a judge ruled the owners had seven days to remove dangerous and potentially hazardous material from the site. That gave them until Wednesday to do so.

Rockford city attorney Matthew Flores said the city would file a petition for contempt of court if AW Bennett failed to clear the property in time. Flores said Thursday that although the deadline has passed, the city has not yet evaluated the site to determine if set standards were met. He said they expect to do so by the end of the day Friday.

Since the deadline set last week, more than 130 truckloads of debris had been removed, while massive amount of rubbish still remained. AW Bennett is already facing $125,000 in fines for city violations at the property.

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