Church pastor says Detroit is sticking him with the bill for the dumping nearby

It's a recurring problem for a Detroit church that has become the target of illegal dumping - and the city says he is on the hook -- to clean up the trash.

Thou shall not dump is the sermon Pastor Benjamin Hoke really wants to shout from the rooftops after finding piles of trash around word of power church in the Palmer Park neighborhood.

"It is quite frustrating because they want me to pay the bill," he said. "They want my congregation to pay for people dumping their debris."

Hoke says he was ticketed last September and again in February.

He says people living in the surrounding apartments are dumping their trash around and on the church property and the city has the church on the hook for it.

"I feel that my property goes to this rail, but the city tells me I am responsible for half of the alley," Hoke said."They said half of the alley is mine."

Illegal dumping has long been an issue in Detroit, despite the city’s efforts to crack down on it.

People caught dumping can be fined thousands of dollars - but that is if they are actually caught.

"The comfort level - it used to be happening at night," said Jevona Watson. "Now it is happening in broad daylight and that's what is even more disturbing - the brazenness of them."

Watson owns Detroit Sip, a coffee shop about a mile and half west of the church.

She says her surveillance camera captured two men dumping renovation debris behind her business two weeks ago.

"In terms of frustration on scale of one to 10, I would say 10," she said. "This has been a problem for years, it has gotten progressively worse. When people prioritize crime they don't think of littering. But it is a crime and I think we need to start enforcing it."

A spokesperson for the city of Detroit said that an investigation into if the tickets to the church were issued properly.