Another disputed wastewater bill was presented to the Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety today, but this time the arrearage will not be forgiven.
Birch Realty of Troy, Mich., has owned Green Acres Mobile Park in Warsaw for the past six years. In May 2012, the park failed to make its monthly $7,000 payment for city water and sewer services. Stacey Kellow of Birch Realty, said the account manager retired around that time and the office was unaware of the error.
Kellow asked the city to waive the penalties, which now total $13,711.23 noting in an email, “We have always been prompt in paying our bills, as your records should indicate.”
But Mary Lou Plummer of the Wastewater Payment Office, said payments in March 2013 and from June through September 2013 were received late, resulting in more penalties. She said no contact was ever made by anyone from Birch Realty until after a lien was placed on the mobile home park. “The penalties are noted on the bill each month,” Plummer told the board, saying the office had to have known about the accumulating fees.
B.O.W. member Charlie Smith noted, “The city is not in the business of running their business. It’s not our fault; pay the bill.” Fellow board member Jeff Grose agreed and, in the absence of mayor Joe Thallemer, voted to deny waiving and fees or penalties. Birch Realty currently owes the city a total of $22,407.70, which includes current charges and penalties.
City attorney Mike Valentine said, if necessary, the city will file a second lien to make sure the city eventually recovers the money.