The former and current owners of the Conneaut Lake Park water system jointly want the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to approve a transfer of ownership of the system.
The Conneaut Lake Park Inc. Trustees is the former owner of the amusement park and its water system, while Conneaut Lake Park Water Corp. Inc. is the current owner of the water system. Conneaut Lake Park Water Corp. Inc. is a subsidiary of Keldon Holdings LLC, the new owner of the amusement park.
Keldon purchased Conneaut Lake Park, its water system, land and other assets from Conneaut Lake Park trustees for $1.2 million in March 2021 in a public proceeding in the U.S. bankruptcy.
Trustees is the non-profit corporation that has overseen the operations of Conneaut Lake Park. The trustees filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2014 to reorganize his debts.
The trustees needed US bankruptcy court approval for any asset sales. In early 2021, the administrators sought US bankruptcy court approval to sell the park after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the park to remain closed for the 2020 season.
In bankruptcy court hearings related to the sale, the trustees said the forced closing left the trustees without working capital and in default under its Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan. he had no prospect of continuing without a sale to a buyer or converting his Chapter 11 plan into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is a total liquidation of assets.
The directors and Conneaut Lake Park Water Corp. Inc. have asked the PUC to approve a joint application for a “certificate of public utility and abandonment”.
“This is the final piece of the puzzle,” said Jim Becker, Trustees’ executive director. “The DEP (Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection) permit for the system has already been transferred along with the certified operator permit.”
The PUC’s approval of the joint application would allow the transfer of the trustee system to CLP Water; to allow CLP Water to provide water service to the public in parts of Summit and Sadsbury townships; relieve trustees of all system responsibilities; and approve the same current rates.
The application states that CLP Water has operated the system for one year and continues to operate as a state-certified operator. The quality of the water system is tested regularly and meets state quality standards, depending on the application.
The application also listed the following:
• The water supply system was required under the US Bankruptcy Court order.
• The PUC did not contest the sale in bankruptcy court even though the PUC had received the required notices.
• The PUC also did not appeal the bankruptcy court’s decision.
• CLP Water carried out emergency repairs as needed in a timely manner; the system provides service at adequate pressures to customers; and its water quality meets Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection standards.
• CLP Water has the funds to operate the system and the water system has the capacity to handle additional development.
“As a result, the case has been closed and the sale cannot be cancelled,” the application reads.
The Pennsylvania PUC is accepting formal protests and petitions against the joint candidacy through May 2.
Becker said he does not anticipate any formal opposition to the joint application to be filed.