- Dead beat property owners have their property sold at sheriff sale if they don't pay their taxes
Commissioners want a plan on how that will be repaid.
In 2012, the park paid about $28,000, but that doesn't come close to all they owe.
The large amount has been adding up over 12 years, some tax payers question why its taken commissioners so long to take action.
"I was a commissioner starting in '08 and I had those same questions asked of me, and I can't speak for the other two gentlemen who were here as commissioners, but I was certainly one who wanted to get some answers at that time," said Sherman Allen, Crawford County Commissioner.
"The goal would be that these trustees can put together a plan, with and through their profit centers, to make good on their taxes primarily and number two to put a plan out there still in concert with their original trustee goals," said Jack Lynch, Crawford County Commissioner.
"This has been dragging on for twelve years now that
"It is time," said Lynch. "I think there's a wide expectation in the community that this has to happen. I think people get it. I think this board certainly gets it and we full anticipate their cooperation to come up with a plan that works."
So after 12 years and such a big deficit, will the park be able to pay nearly a million dollars?
"It's certainly a concern and we hope something can be worked out," said Francis Weiderspahn, Crawford County Commissioner. "They do have private businesses leasing out there, the hotel, the beach club and hopefully they can all work together with those sources of generating income."
If officials put the park up for sheriff's sale, they don't think it will remain a park but are unsure what it could become.
Late Tuesday, the Conneaut Lake Board of Trustees issued this statement:
In response to the recent information regarding Conneaut Lake Park's tax
situation, We offer the following information. Five and a half years
ago, this Board of Trustees was handed a closed park,
delinquent bills and tax bills and nothing in the bank. No taxes
were paid during the previous Boards' and previous Commissioners'
tenures while the Park was under the guidance of the court and
custodian(s). The two successive custodian leaderships spanning
the prior ten years of the park were paid salary positions, while the
chairman and all members of the Board of Trustees are volunteer.
Last year, the Trustees updated the current Commissioners on the status of the Park and lease arrangements that have been entered into, all geared toward preserving this national historic asset and revitalizing its grounds. For the first time in many years, taxes were paid ($28,000) on the property as a result of the current operations. Also as a result of current operations, jobs are generated, bed and amusement tax is earned, and a host of area businesses enjoy increased activity because of the visitors the Park brings to the area.
Improvements at the Park have continued each year under this Board's direction and leased organizational structure. The Hotel and Dockside have undergone renovations. The Boardwalk is being restored. The Blue Streak has received extensive upgrades, along with long overdue repairs on other rides. This progress, and incredible history throughout has not gone unnoticed, as the Park received eligibility status for the National Register of Historic Places, and won two national vote-based grant contests: Pepsi Refresh, and FASTSIGNS.
It's important to understand that leasees and event/festival promoters bear the majority of the costs for their respective areas and events and therefore must retain the majority of the revenues from them. With a limited promotions budget and small grounds and maintenance staff at CLP, it is this model that has allowed for the renovations and repairs and activity at the Park and will allow it to continue to be restored.
The Trustees are fully aware of the tax obligation of CLP and have been working hard to continue to make progress to increase revenue sources and continue to make tax payments.
Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park, Inc.