JACKSON (WWJ/AP) – A property clean-up at a home in a Michigan suburb has turned into a payment standoff between the homeowner and the local government.

Jackson Treasurer Andrew Wrozek says after several notices the city cleaned Brian McGonegal’s yard of trash and sent him a bill.

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McGonegal now owes $270 to the city and so far his payment hasn’t been accepted — on his terms.

McGonegal has tried to pay off his debt by making a series of $27 payments with 2,700 pennies – bagged not rolled — and that’s the sticking point with the city — they’ll take the penny payment but they have to be rolled and include the his name and contact information.

“We accept coins,” Wrozek tells WWJ Newsradio 950. “We told him we would. They are probably dirty — just need to be wrapped and put his name, address and phone on each roll.”

Wrozek says the homeowner would come in minutes before the city offices were about to close — with a bag of change. “He would always come in just before close — I would have let him wrap them up.”

McGonegal acknowledges the unusual form of payment is his way of protesting the fine.

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Wrozek says it’s not the city’s duty to count out his change and has the backing of city attorney Bethany Vuynov on the matter, “she said that we don’t have to accept pennies as payment.”

McGonegal says Jackson officials are making him pay so they can maintain an image of a “picture-perfect” community.

The fine has now turned into a special assessment on McGonegal’s property states the treasurer.


(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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