Atwood decision due Thursday


By Nancy Schaar

FPS Correspondent


A decision on the sale of Atwood Lake Lodge has been delayed once again.

When Billy Burns, the Youngstown area man who purchased about 75 acres of land and the buildings at an Aug. 10, 2016, public auction failed to show for a Jan. 13 scheduled closing on the sale of the property, Carroll County Commissioners announced they would meet in executive session Jan. 19 and expected to make a decision on how to proceed following the session.

Commissioners met that afternoon for nearly two hours behind closed doors with County Prosecutor Steven Barnett, Atty. Sean Smith, legal counsel for commissioners; Atty. James Pringle and Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer James B. Cugliari from the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD), Gene Kiko, Geno Kiko, and Richard Kiko, Jr. of Kiko Auctions.

The session was held to discuss the sale of property by competitive bid. Kiko Auctions conducted the Aug. 10 auction. Burns was the high bidder at $1.1 million. Despite three extensions for the closing date, Burns has not stepped forward to sign papers and complete the deal.

Richard Goodman, Burns’ attorney, was included in the last 90 minutes of the executive session.

After reconvening in regular session, Commissioner President Jeff Ohler said, “There is a little more deliberation to be done. The prospective buyer (Billy Burns) will provide Sean Smith with more information.”

“It was a very dynamic meeting and we had a very frank discussion with all the stake holders,” said Commissioner Bob Wirkner.

All materials from the executive session were forwarded to the prosecutor for review.

All three commissioners agreed it was a very positive meeting and Commissioner President Jeff Ohler said he expected commissioners to make a decision during the Jan. 23 meeting.

Commissioners did not take action during the Jan. 23 meeting. However, during the session, Ohler said six new potential buyers expressed interest in the property.

“We want to make sure we do it right. Nobody wants this to go through more than we do,” said Ohler.

“Our way forward will be made clear following the prosecutor’s decision,” said Commissioner Bob Wirkner.

Monday afternoon, Ohler said a decision will be announced Jan. 26.