Meadville Tribune

Local News

April 19, 2013

County wants to address Conneaut Lake Park's back taxes

MEADVILLE — A plan on how Conneaut Lake Park will repay hundreds of thousands in back taxes owed to Crawford County and other governments may be presented next month to the county’s governing board of commissioners.

Ted Watts, the county’s attorney, said at Thursday’s meeting of county commissioners that negotiations were continuing and there should be “something to commissioners by the next meeting.”

As of mid-January, Conneaut Lake Park owed a total of $856,212.77 in back taxes and interest to the Crawford County, Conneaut School District and Sadsbury and Summit townships, and dating back to 1997, according to the Crawford County Treasurer’s Office.

County commissioners have raised the specter of having the park go to tax sale if a tax plan isn’t resolved.

Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park has been in negotiations on a plan toward repayment of hundreds of thousands in back taxes to area governments.

The park is a charitable public trust that was formed in 1998 with the aid of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. It has been under control of Crawford County Court of Common Pleas since then. The park’s 15-member board of trustees was appointed by Crawford County President Judge Anthony Vardaro in 2007.

All three Crawford County commissioners, Francis Weiderspahn Jr., Jack Lynch and C. Sherman Allen, have said a plan needs to be presented or the more than 100-year-old amusement park’s real estate may be sold for back taxes at the annual tax delinquency sale in September.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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