Meadville Tribune

November 19, 2013

Statement issued by Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park

Meadville Tribune

MEADVILLE — A statement was issued Monday by Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park by Jack Moyers, board chairman, in response to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s petition to oust the current Trustees board for breach of fiduciary duty. The following is the full text of the statement:

(Today), the corporation known as Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park (TCLP) and any of the volunteer board members that have served since 2007 will be tasked with the process of defending its existence.

We are saddened with the filing of the lawsuit by the attorney general, especially given our repeated, but failed, efforts to reach out to his office.

We have repeatedly chosen not to publicly participate in the mudslinging that has taken place. This should in no way be construed as admission of wrongdoing or the inability to deny allegations. Instead, we, unlike our opponents, firmly believe in taking a more professional approach to the disclosure of information related to the operations of the Conneaut Lake Park.

The Articles of Incorporation for TCLP state that the corporation is incorporated “To preserve and maintain Conneaut Lake Park for historical, cultural, social, recreational and civic purposes, etc., for the benefit of the community and the general public ...”

While not every decision that has been made has been supported by all, each was made with those purposes in mind. To allude that our actions did not strive to preserve and protect the historical asset of Conneaut Lake Park are unfounded and hurtful. This board has dedicated its heart, mind and spirit to the endeavors set forth in the purpose statement of this beloved park. We believe that once the evidence is revealed, no reasonable person in the community will believe otherwise.

Before this sitting board was even appointed, it was dealt a tough hand: a 10-year span of unpaid property taxes; a closed park; a mountain of debt; little money in the bank; no credit; a lengthy list of unpaid bills; and a water company that required mandatory upgrades. Undaunted by these challenges, we secured lessees to allow the park to open and operate.

Adams Amusements, MidAmerica Events and Park Restoration have invested and improved the park and allowed the season to extend and provide a small percentage of the revenue needed to keep the park operating. While the park obtains some of its revenue from the performance of its lessees, the majority of its revenue is generated from the payment of minimum lease payments from its lessees. While much has been published about the failure of the park to pay its tax bill, a bill that was unpaid long before this board was appointed, this board has, when it was appointed in 2007, paid its debts related to sewer system debt, sales tax debt and mortgage debt.

This board has also worked hard to keep the park vibrant and to improve its fortune.

As examples, given the historical and operational significance of the Blue Streak to the park, when the opportunity to secure grants specific to that asset were found, we pursued and secured them. Along with the strong supporters of the park, we won two national contests that aided in the restoration and reopening of the Blue Streak and upgraded signage on the grounds. The marketing and public relations impact from those campaigns was a national sweep of positive support and awareness for the park. We worked with Preservation PA to secure the eligibility of being on the National Register of Historic Places, which further allowed us to compete for and win additional grant monies from the PHMC for continued restoration of the Blue Streak.

In short, the board anticipates being vindicated once the facts, the truth, are revealed.