Park Township fines owner, contractor for leftover lakeshore debris

Ottawa County

PARK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The fallout continues over a home that was torn down in late November before it fell into Lake Michigan.

Carl Perrin, the contractor on the job, says all of a sudden, Park Township wants to play hardball.

Park Township officials say the debris from the home has been lying at the construction site for far too long. They’re now fining Perrin and the homeowner for it.

“We told them we were trying to work up north to take care of other houses and put in walls and stone so other houses don’t fall into the lake,” Perrin said.

Debris from a home next to Lake Michigan in Park Township that was torn town in November 2019. (Dec. 13, 2019)

Perrin read News 8 one of three violations the township sent him for failing to clean up the site.

“(It says) violation on outdoor storage and waste, allowing building material to blow over property,” Perrin said.

According to that citation, Perrin received a $250 fine.

Officials say the debris has been sitting for three weeks and that it should have been cleaned up a lot sooner.

Perrin says his hands were tied.

“Republic (Services) was going to come and put the containers in, but it’s too tight of an area, so we had to get a smaller container company and fit their schedule to get in here,” Perrin said.

Debris from a home next to Lake Michigan in Park Township that was torn town in November 2019. (Dec. 13, 2019)

News 8 reached out to Josh Wright, the owner of the now-demolished home, who said the township isn’t helping.

“Park Township said they will help their residents, but all they’re doing is fining them. It’s unfortunate. I lost my house. Give me a break,” Wright said.

Park Township manager Howard Fink told News 8 he sympathizes with Wright’s plight.

“But from the standpoint of the township, if you tear down a building and have that contractual relationship to tear down that building, it’s your responsibility to clean it up,” Fink said.

Authorities say they warned Perrin and Wright they would be fined if they did not meet the clean-up deadline, which Howard said was slightly more than a week after the demolition.

“We’re not fining to be punitive or are looking for revenue from the fine,” Fink said. “We would like the property cleaned up.”

Perrin said he understands the township’s point of view but wants them to be a little more lenient. 

“(They’ve) got to have a little bit of give and not be so hardcore about it,” Perrin said.

The contractor says he hopes his crews will have at least six dumpsters at the homes by Saturday at the earliest, and have all of this debris cleaned up by next week.

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