The Crawford County (Pennsylvania) Court of Common Pleas has cleared the way for Conneaut Lake Park to head to a sheriff's sale to pay off more than $925,000 in overdue real estate taxes. A ruling issued on Wednesday, December 3, County President Judge Anthony Vardaro denied a petition by the state attorney general's office, meaning the park is now scheduled to be offered at a sheriff's sale on Friday, December 5.
The attorney general's office argued several points including claims that the property is exempt from sale because it's held within a charitable trust, and may have been assessed improperly for taxes. A spokesman for the attorney general's office said, "We are reviewing the order and determining whether we should file an appeal.".
While the county court's ruling allows the sheriff's sale to go forward, Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park has two options: one is to file for federal bankruptcy protection in U.S. District Court before Friday's sheriff's sale. A bankruptcy filing would halt any sheriff's sale while the park seeks federal bankruptcy court approval to reorganize its debts and set a repayment plan.
The second option is for the trustees to resign and return the nonprofit corporation back to the control of the county court.