The clock is ticking for a Reese mobile home park to comply with the village’s push for unpaid fees or else utilities could be shut off.
Reese Village Council approved a motion Monday for attorneys David Meyer and David Fisher, of Smith Bovill P.C., to draft two letters aimed at collecting monies owed the village from the owner of Meadows Mobile Home Park, 1655 S. Reese Road.
The attorneys will draft a 45-day notice of default for delinquent bankruptcy payments and another giving the park 30 days to pay outstanding sewer bills, and require a quarterly amount of those monies as a deposit to cover the business in the future.
Meadows Mobile Home Park, owned by Park Lane Management Inc. of Bay City, could face “utility termination” if it does not comply with the terms presented by the council.
“I think in the past we’ve been afraid to do it,” said Reese Village Council President Pro-Tem Tim Elbers. “As a resident and sitting here at the table, I don’t have a problem sending another letter and saying we’re going to shut this thing off.”
Park and village officials have battled publicly over late or nonpayment of bills since late 2015.
As The Advertiser reported Nov. 12, 2015, Reese Village Council was threatening to shut off sewer service to about 70 residents in the park unless thousands of dollars of payments were made to the village.
Those residents also had their sewer system shut off in 2009 and weren’t notified the sewer was being shut off because of nonpayment.
In April 2015, the owners of Meadows Mobile Home Park entered into a bankruptcy repayment agreement with the village to repay monies owed in two parts. The first amount was $33,202, plus a 6 percent interest, during a more than 60-month period, the second is a sum of about $19,910, with 12 percent interest, but the same time limit to pay — some of the monthly payments have been paid, some have not.
As of Sept. 9, Reese records indicate the park owed $17,080 in delinquent sewer payments, about $3,851 in bankruptcy funds, about $2,657 in unit taxes from March through August 2016 and $4,404 in unit taxes from April 2015 to Aug 2016 (excluding June) —amounting to about $27,992 the business owes the village.
Village officials also are considering other options for collecting delinquent payments, such as issuing liens against the property after 90 days.
However, they said the threat of cutting off services has proven most effective — and that they’re ready to act on it this time.
“Terminating service can get us updated like we did last time,” added council president Paul Keast. “Once we oppose in April, then we can prolong and put it on the taxes.”
Elbers was also vocal about previous issues leading up to Monday’s decision. He said the village is behind again from the ongoing legal issue to receive the park’s sewer payments, which is still getting money from its residents in rent and other fees.
About 70 residents lived in the mobile home park as of March 2016.
Meyers told council its other option was to take the business to Tuscola District Court for a civil infraction, but adding more legal issues to the village wasn’t the best plan.
On July 13, The Advertiser reported the park made bankruptcy payments in June but were behind on sewer bills. Other incidents at the park in addition to sewer service being cut off include being ticketed for blight and for a time Meadows Mobile Home Park was operating without a license.
Debanina Seaton is a reporter for The Advertiser and can be reached at email@example.com