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Pending lawsuit over back rent complicates effort to split parcels at Conneaut Lake Park

Submitted Thu, 08/15/2013 - 6:58am by Andy Alm

SUMMIT TWP. – Efforts to divide the Beach Club and Hotel Conneaut areas at Conneaut Lake Park into separate tax parcels have so far fallen flat, according to park Board of Trustees Chairman Jack Moyers. 

Greg Sutterlin, of Park Restoration LLC, which leases the property, has been meeting with the board and asking them to divide the property in such a way that his group will be able to take care of its own tax burden.  It’s an effort Sutterlin had hoped would protect him from losing his stake in the park, should the badly debt-ridden property go to tax sale next fall.

But in an interview with Forever Broadcasting on Tuesday, Moyers told us Sutterlin’s proposal “has not been accepted as presented,” calling it “a very unfair proposal.”

One factor playing into the negotiations is a lawsuit pending in Crawford County Court.  In May, the park filed a writ of summons against Park Restoration.  Moyers told us the lawsuit is going after an undisclosed amount of back rent and utility bills Sutterlin’s company has allegedly failed to pay.  Regarding the tax parcels, Moyers said, “Why would I get back in bed with [Sutterlin] if he owes me money?”

But the situation gets even messier.  Sutterlin is now telling us he believes Moyers has failed to hold up his end of the bargain.  Sutterlin says his group agreed to perform certain services, including constructing the boardwalk and running electricity to the boat docks, in lieu of some of the rent money, which he claims Moyers is now ignoring.

The park is over 850-thousand dollars in debt and could face a tax sale if an acceptable plan of payment is not presented to the county by September 2014. 

And all this legal drama of course is playing out at one of the worst possible times for the park, with the Beach Club wiped out by fire. 

Still Sutterlin says he’s determined to rebuild.