ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Onondaga County is filing a host of new lawsuits against three severely tax-delinquent properties that owe a total of $14 million: ShoppingTown Mall, Great Northern Mall and DMI Acquisitions, a closed power plant in Geddes.
Against all three owners, the county is suing for unpaid sewer fees. The grand total owed to Onondaga County is $450,000. Like an electric or water bill, the county can shut off sewer services if left unpaid.
Drone fly-over shows missing tank
Onondaga County is suing DMI Acquisitions, the current owners of a closed power plant at 56 Industrial Drive in Geddes, which owes more than $1 million in taxes, unpaid for over four years.
The lawsuit is a result of an investigation done by Onondaga County that shows the company defied orders to not remove a large and expensive tank from the property.
On June 19, Onondaga County notified the owners that removing the tank would violate county law, as the tank is considered an asset to be sold off to make up for unpaid taxes.
Onondaga County hired a drone to fly over the property, which shows the tank has been removed. The County also verified that a contractor was hired to remove the tank.
McMahon is looking into if the removal of the tank also violates an order of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Paris, who also told the company not to touch it.
Great Northern: Another ShoppingTown?
Onondaga County is also filing a civil suit against the owners of Great Northern Mall in Clay, who owe more than $3 million in taxes.
County Executive Ryan McMahon considers this a proactive approach to make sure Great Northern Mall doesn’t become another ShoppingTown Mall.
ShoppingTown owners Moonbeam are arguing the mall’s assessed value, but the County Executive says Great Northern Mall has agreed to its assessment. He says that makes it more egregious the bill hasn’t been paid.
Mike Kohan purchased the Clay mall for $8.5 million in February 2017.
Kohan tells NewsChannel 9 he contacted Onondaga County to pay back the taxes, but the County Executive disputes that.
ShoppingTown still unpaid
ShoppingTown Mall in DeWitt still remains the county’s largest delinquent landlord, owing about $10 million.
As the case sits open in court, McMahon still hopes owners Moonbeam Capital will come through with a payment plan before the property becomes eligible for tax foreclosure in October.
That’s when McMahon says the legal action will become “full throttle.”
McMahon is looking for a judge to transfer the “significant” rent being paid by the movie theater to Onondaga County instead.