Bankruptcy judge wants answers on Conneaut Lake Park | news

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A judge in the US Bankruptcy Court for Western Pennsylvania wants answers on whether the new owner of Conneaut Lake Park may have violated his purchase agreement.

In March, Keldon Holdings LLC bought Conneaut Lake Park from the Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park for $ 1.2 million in a US bankruptcy court-approved case before Judge Jeffery Deller. Conneaut Lake Park’s trustee was the nonprofit that oversaw the operation of the amusement park.

The approval of the sale by the court required public access to the park property to continue. Certain parts of the property are subject to deed restrictions which require it to be open to the public. Assets sold include the amusement park and its rides, the water park, the beach area, the Conneaut Hotel, the Camperland campsite, and all active leases for assets such as the park’s hotel and water system.

However, a joint September 14 letter sent to the US bankruptcy court by seven residents of Conneaut Lake Park alleges that Keldon violated the sales contract.

The letter alleges Todd Joseph, the owner of Keldon, “has violated the spirit and intent of the bankruptcy agreement. He is demolishing the park, selling the rides and ignoring the court’s requests.”

Keldon started major changes in the center of the amusement park after purchasing the property in March.

Derelict buildings were removed from Comstock Street southeast to the lakeside promenade area. Dilapidated sidewalk, a large wooden stage overlooking the lake, and trees along the middle walk have also been removed to create a large open space for festivals.

Residents – Gloria Novak, Judie Hartung, Larry Hartung, Carol Anderson, Rhonda Jacoby, Gerald Baldwin, and Shaunet Baldwin – also claim to have problems with water utilities and road repairs.

“We have no one to call. There is no phone number on the bills or a local office that we can contact,” said the residents’ letter.

The seven residents also claim Joseph restricted access to their home by erecting fences over rights of way and compromising security.

On September 20, Deller scheduled a hearing for October 19 (next week) and also ordered that all responses be submitted to the court by October 12.

A second letter dated September 30th was sent to the court by the seven residents.

In addition, Patricia Hutton, founder of the Conneaut Lake Park Preservation Fund, sent a September 24 letter to the US bankruptcy court alleging violations of building demolition and removal of rides.

Inaction by Keldon and the Conneaut Lake Park trustees brought a new court order from Judge Deller on Friday.

“October 12, 2021 came and went with no written response. The silence begs the question: is anyone manning the proverbial ship for the reorganized debtor (trustee of Conneaut Lake Park) and / or Keldon Holdings, LLC?” Wrote Deller.

Deller’s order requires the trustees of Conneaut Lake Park and Keldon Holdings to provide detailed written responses to the allegations in the letters to the court.

Trustee and Keldon’s answers are:

“1. Address the merits (both factually and legally) of the allegations in particular;

“2. address both factually and legally whether that court has the necessary substantive jurisdiction in relation to a case or dispute raised in the correspondence; and

“3. To be submitted electronically to the court by Monday, October 18, 2021, 3:00 p.m. Eastern time at the latest.”

Keldon attorneys and trustees have been instructed to appear for a hearing on the matter via Zoom on Tuesday.

“Failure to comply with this order will result in the imposition of sanctions, including but not limited to fines,” ordered Deller.

The attorneys for the Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park and Keldon Holdings and Joseph did not respond to the Tribune’s request for comment.

Keith Gushard can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or via email at [email protected]


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