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June 12--MEADVILLE -- Crawford County Court of Common Pleas has approved a settlement ousting the governing board of Conneaut Lake Park.
President Judge Anthony Vardaro this afternoon approved a consent decree between Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park and office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane that ousts the current Trustees board. Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park is the corporation that oversees the public trust that owns the 122-year-old amusement park.
A consent decree is often characterized by a settlement in which an individual or group agrees to take certain actions without admitting fault or guilt for a situation to which the settlement relates.
Last October, Kane petitioned the Crawford County Court of Common Pleas to oust the current Trustees, claiming the Trustees had failed to properly care for the park. Today's approval of the consent decree by Vardaro removes that petition.
The state's petition alleged the Trustees failed to take advantage of business opportunities that would have generated more revenue; that Trustees steered business away from Hotel Conneaut; and that these incidents and failure to insure Dreamland Ballroom and The Beach Club represent "serious breaches of their (Trustees) fiduciary duty."
In late April, the Trustees voted to approve a plan from the Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County to create a new board to oversee the amusement park's operations.
But, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General must approve of the Trustees' action before that plan may move forward.
The plan proposed by the Economic Progress Alliance to revitalize the amusement park would repay more than $900,000 in overdue property taxes that date back to 1997.
As of April 4, Conneaut Lake Park owed $906,595.44 in back property taxes, interest and penalties to Conneaut School District, Crawford County and Sadsbury and Summit townships, according to figures from the Crawford County Treasurer's Office.
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