Posted by kankakeegazette.com staff Jan 17, 2012
Kraftdale residents were shocked by the news earlier tonight that Mr. Jensen withdrew his request for a crematorium permit.
At City Council, Mayor Epstein reported that the administration received a letter that afternoon from Mr. Jensen asking that his application be withdrawn. The full letter was not read at the meeting.
Mr. Jensen purchased the property at 2450 Grinnell Rd in Kankakee’s eastside industrial area in 2006. Complaints from residents in the adjacent subdivision of Kraftdale began shortly thereafter.
By that time, Mr. Jensen had accumulated a large file of code violations.
Garbage, 6-foot weeds, rotting particle board, scattered car parts and a boat, littered the Jensen property across the street from this residential neighborhood. By the time Mr. Jensen moved in a crematory furnace several years later, without a city permit (he had a temporary permit from the Illinois EPA in 2006 pending satisfying state and local regulations), code violations and frustrations had already stacked up.
Although Mr. Jensen had trouble caring for this property, his management and care as part-owner of Brown Funeral Home of Manteno is well respected.
Much time and effort were invested by many people to keep the Kraftdale and surrounding area from being negatively impacted. Alderman Steve Hunter, Kankakee Township Supervisor /County Board member Larry Enz, and many Kraftdale residents, including Randy and RoseAnna Kinckerbocker, spoke up about their concerns to the City of Kankakee, to the Kankakee Aldermen and to the IEPA.
Also, Clancy-Gernon Funeral Homes and Schreffler Funeral Homes both generously provided information about cremation and crematory management.
Read the discussion (pages 4-52) between Mr. Jensen, the Kraftdale neighbors, other concerned officials and the City of Kankakee Planning Board and learn how someone is approved for a permit.
Look over lawsuit documents filed by the City of Kankakee against Mr. Jensen and Mr. Jensen’s lawsuit against the City of Kankakee.
Posted by kankakeegazette.com staff⋅11:30 a.m. Jan 15, 2012.
In August, 2006, Mr. Jensen applied for and received a conditional use permit to build and operate a warehouse on his property. At the same time, Mr. Jensen also applied to the Illinois EPA as River Valley Crematory requesting a permit to construct and operate a crematory. Illinois EPA issued that permit November 1, 2006.
Records show Mr. Jensen never applied to the City of Kankakee for a permit to operate a crematorium until 2011. City Council and the residents adjacent to Mr. Jensen’s property became aware of his plans when Mr. Jensen placed a crematory on his property in 2009 without a permit.
By that time, Mr. Jensen had accumulated a large file of code violations. According to the documents
resulting in an Order of Demolition dated July 27, 2010, Mr. Jensen was dumping car parts and storing his boat on the property, he had never mowed or graded the land which was an eyesore to the residential neighborhood, and had partially constructed a building that was legally ruled unsafe and a hazard that could not be brought up to code.
In addition, Mr. Jensen was not responding to the numerous letters sent by the City and he had not complied with the notices to clean up his property. He also did not pay the assessed fines which included the City of Kankakee mowing the property to rid it of health and safety issues.
So why in early 2011 did the City of Kankakee and the Planning Board recommend that Mr. Jensen be given a permit to operate a crematorium on his property—property whose 2010 taxes were recently sold for non-payment of the total due of $82.93?
Posted by kankakeegazette.com staff⋅6:58 p.m. Jan 14, 2012.