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Mediation Ordered for Strawberry Park Creditors

April 5, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

Superior Court Judge James J. Devine ordered a mediation session Monday (April 4) between TD Bank, which is seeking to back out of its winning bid for Strawberry Park campground in Preston, Conn., and an investor group that is owed $3.4 million by the bankrupt owner, theday.com reported.

Devine delayed approval of the $8 million purchase and sale agreement saying he wanted to first know the value of the campground.

Devine said he hopes the bank and Preston Strawberry Funding Associates (PSFA) can come to some type of agreement before April 21, when Judge Albert S. Dabrowski of the Connecticut District of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court will hear a motion presented by Mark Stern, attorney for PSFA. The motion seeks to liquidate assets owned by Strawberry Farms LLC, Strawberry Farms RV Resort Inc. and Volin LLC.

If the motion is granted, Stern said his client has an interest in hundreds of campground items. He read from a 20-page list of assets that includes 50 mobile homes, 65 golf carts, six horses, furniture, tools, washers and dryers, office equipment, shelving and linens.

Strawberry Park was more than $7 million in debt to the bank before the bank submitted the $8 million bid at the park’s Feb. 26 foreclosure sale.

Next Wednesday, the bank and PSFA, which are in jockeying for first place among the creditors hoping to recover money owed to them, will participate in the mediation session.

Patrick Craffey, a senior appraiser at Hartford’s Italia & Lemp Inc., said in his testimony Monday that he could not put an exact value on the property, its assets or the business aspect of the campground.

In August 2010, Craffey appraised the campground at $10.1 million with a real estate value of $9.85 million. The rest he said, was the value of furniture, fixtures and equipment.

Devine said he will review appraisals presented to the court to consider a value and rule on the sale to TD Bank. If the bank’s bid is upheld, PSFA would not recover any of its money.

In the meantime, Strawberry Park will continue to operate under the receivership of Elite Resorts Management Company.

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