Officials from Benton Charter Township were finally pushed to the breaking point this week when Orchards Mall owner Michael Kohan once again ignored overdue utility bills forcing them to take the measure of revoking the mall's occupancy permit for code violations.
While the owner did present payment this morning, water service to most of the mall had already been shut off and now the owner must pay a reconnection fee to gain that service back.
The JC Penney store in the mall has its own water supply lines and remains open for business, the only store in the mall able to open for the day today.
Here is what Benton Township Superintendent Kelli Nelson has to say on the matter just before noon today:
June 7, 2018
Benton Charter Township Statement Regarding Mall Occupancy Revocation
It is unfortunate that the Orchard’s Mall owner has placed both the Mall tenants and Benton Charter Township in this precarious position. The owner of the mall has done this community a disservice and continues to waste valuable tax payer resources. Benton Charter Township strictly adheres to its utility ordinances which ensures that all utility customers receive equitable service and treatment. The Mall has consistently been on the shut off list for nonpayment and has continued to wait until the last hour to make the required delinquent payments. The Township has issued Notices of Occupancy Revocation in addition to the shut off notices. The Mall owner and tenants were aware that the Certification of Occupancy would be revoked if the water was disconnected. The Mall did make a payment in the form of a cashiers check after the shut off had taken place. The Mall is being required to make an additional $6,000 deposit in order for service to be reinstated. Upon receipt of such payment the reinstatement of water service will be scheduled as soon as possible. The Township continues to strive to develop its commercial and retail district despite the negating affects due to poor management of the Orchards Mall.
Kelli L.S. Nelson Benton Charter Township Superintendent
Signs were placed by the Benton Township Supervisor in every door of the mall today declaring the revocation of the occupancy permit, and identifying why.
Here's the rest of that story as posted earlier today: