Six elderly Buffalo couples became a little more financially secure today after a judge approved the sale of the former Jellystone Park in Wyoming County and restricted the disposition of its assets.
State Supreme Court Justice Eugene M. Fahey signed documents approving the sale, two months after ordering attorneys for the city and the not-for-profit housing group whose venture cost city taxpayers $1.2 million to figure out what to do with any remaining assets.
Fahey eliminated from the documents provisions requiring the use of some of the sales proceeds for "working capital" costs, thus ensuring that all the available proceeds will be used to repay the investors.
Phillip Delmont, an attorney for the housing group HELP (Home Equity Living Plans) said the sale of the 100-acre city-financed campgrounds should take place next week.
Delmont said $157,000 of the $237,000 price being paid by the business interests of Jerome F. Kern, a Western New York food broker, will go to cover existing mortgage debt, and an additional uncalculated sum will cover sale expenses.
Kern bought the property during a public auction last year. He has said he plans to improve the recreational facility, now known as Rolling Pines Campground, and use it as a campground oriented toward families.
As part of the sale, $150,000 in annuities will be created to protect eight local homeowners who traded the equity in their homes for guaranteed lifetime incomes from the venture six years ago.
Both Assistant State Attorney General William D. Maldovan and Deputy Corporation Counsel David J. State said they were satisfied with the outcome of the case.
Fahey got the real estate deal moving on Dec. 7 by ordering a drafting of proposed sales documents that he would ultimately have to approve.
The city pumped $1.2 million into the failed real estate venture through the nonprofit housing group, which six years ago bought the 100-acre campground as an investment under the direction of former Lovejoy Council Member Norman Bakos.
City officials criticized the campground deal for years but argued there was little they could do because the group never signed a contract with the city.