The Beach Park Village Board meets during a regularly scheduled board meeting last month. Cole Schambari says Beach Park village officials cited him for violating an ordinance after he disconnected his home from the village’s water supply, resulting in him being ordered to pay $74,000 in fines. | Screengrab

A homeowner in Beach Park says he has been ordered to pay over $74,000 by a court after he disconnected his home from the village’s water supply and switched to a well.

Cole Schambari told Lake and McHenry County Scanner he purchased a house in Beach Park two years ago.

He said he decided he no longer wanted the municipal water service and was aware of the village’s ordinances.

“The way their ordinance is written gives them unfettered access to the inside of our homes to “inspect village property” I.e. their water meter. I don’t like the chemicals the water is treated with,” Schambari said, adding that the water turned green in his Britta filter.

Schambari, who is a water and sewer contractor, stopped paying his water bill and the village shut off the water two months later as expected.

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Schambari switched his home back to the existing water well on the property that serviced the house beginning in the 1950s when the residence was constructed.

“I used multiple fail safes to protect the public water from any chance of cross contamination,” he said.

A code enforcement officer was sent to Schambari’s residence last year after the village learned he had no intention of reconnecting the village’s water supply.

“The ordinance reads that it is illegal for me to be disconnected from their main once connection is established, however from my view they invalidated their own ordinance by disconnecting me,” he said.

Schambari offered to pay the village for the water he used minus $5 to keep the account in delinquency.

The village in August cited Schambari with violating ordinance 13.04.050, which requires homes to be connected to the municipal waterworks system.

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Schambari said he and the village were unable to settle their differences following many months in court and private negotiations.

According to the ordinance, a violator can be fined $50-$750 per day.

Schambari was found guilty of the violation earlier this month and Lake County Judge George Pappas imposed a $323 per day fine, which was lower than what Beach Park officials requested.

The $323 per day fine was assessed at 229 days, meaning the total fine Schambari was ordered to pay was $74,100 including court costs.

Schambari said he believes this is a violation of his Eighth Amendment rights.

“Civil disobedience is in the spirit of our American culture, so we’ve amassed a loud voice of constituents in the village aiming to dethrone the tyrants on the village board who’ve voted themselves the power to interfere with our lives. We’re a blue collar community who want to be left to our own devices and live in a manner unrestricted by government overreach,” he said.

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A court order said Schambari is required to pay the more than $74,000 fine within 30 days. He has until April 3.

Attempts by Lake and McHenry County Scanner to reach Beach Park Village Administrator Marc Huber for comment on the matter went unanswered.