Chesterfield to Appeal Judge's Ruling on Rosie O'Grady's

The Board of Trustees unanimously voted Monday night to appeal a judge's ruling that favored the business and would not allow the township to collect $41,250 from the pub.

Chesterfield Township officials voted Monday night to appeal a Macomb County Circuit Court judge's ruling in favor of on 23 Mile.

On March 14, Judge James Biernat Jr. ordered the township to dismiss a $41,250 bill, charging the pub for "sewer tap" and "water tap" fees for a 2008 expansion, according to the judge's written order.

However, the township board decided Monday to proceed with an appeal during a closed session spanning more than an hour. Clerk Jan Uglis was not present.

"We think that the judge, his decision, was not supported by Michigan law," township attorney Robert Seibert said following the meeting. "The fee that we charged has nothing to do with a physical connection to the system. It's for future capital improvements."

Before remodeling, Rosie's sought a building permit and was supposed to pay those imposed fees, Seibert said. Since the owner never paid, the amount went on the tax bill. Macomb County then put it on a list of thousands of delinquent properties to go into foreclosure, Seibert said.

The township and Rosie's attorney intervened at that time.

Lawyer Gary Gendernalik who represents Fox LLC., also known as Rosie O'Grady's, reiterated Monday the business never tapped into the system for the expansion. He argued during the case that Rosie's would just pay higher water bills for any increased usage.

The township alleges that the expansion led to more people using water, essentially taxing the community's system.

"When you double the size of your capacity, you're putting more stress on the system," Seibert said.

The court did not find evidence the Rosie's fees from the township were merited.

"In short, the fees imposed by the township are plainly disproportionate to the benefit conferred to the respondent...Since there can be no question that the fees constitute an improper tax, the court finds that the fees and the lien on the respondent's property must be removed," the order states.

Biernat also ruled that no further action can be taken to foreclose the property or collect the fees.


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