LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — Colonial Park Mall is struggling to stay open since most tenants have moved out. Now, the Lower Paxton Township Authority is taking the mall’s owners to court over unpaid sewer and stormwater bills.
Steve Stine, solicitor for the township authority said the more than $200,000 in bills go back to at least summer 2021, and this is not the first time he has had issues with the mall.
After the current owners of Colonial Park Mall bought the property, Stine said the authority noticed a problem.
“The storm water fees and the sewer fees for the mall were not being paid,” he said.
The township decided to turn off the water, but that never happened.
“Just before the water was to be shut off, [the owners] paid the entire bill,” Stine explained.
However, in 2021 Stine said the same problem came up.
“They didn’t pay on a going forward basis every time they got a quarterly bill, so that number got large again,” he said.
Now, the mall owes over $200,000 in sewer and stormwater bills.
“There’s also penalties that are built in and attorney’s fees,” Stine said.
As those unpaid bills built up, Stine said he started filing municipal liens, which are what the owners have to pay first.
“[It] protects the municipality from having these liens or this debt that’s owed be forgotten,” he said.
Most recently, Stine said he also filed what is essentially a civil complaint. The owners had 15 days to respond, but they did not. Next, Stine will file a 10-day notice, and if he does not get a response again, the mall will head to a sheriff’s sale.
“The property owner can pay up until a certain point, but once you get to the date of sheriff’s sale, that’s done,” Stine said.
abc27 reached out to the owners, Kohan Retail Investment Group. A representative said they intend to pay back their bills within a week, but Stine is skeptical.
“Most likely, after that, when new quarters came up, they probably don’t pay it. I mean, they kind of have a pattern of doing that,” Stine said.
Stine said the authority will know whether a sheriff’s sale will happen in March.