The state of Ohio, on behalf of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, filed a motion to withdraw the Stark County Sheriff’s Office sale scheduled for Monday.
PLAIN TWP. The foreclosure sale of Meadowlake Golf & Swim Club has been canceled for the time being.
The state, on behalf of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, filed a motion to withdraw the Stark County Sheriff’s Office sale scheduled for Monday. The motion was approved Thursday.
A period of at least 60 days gives the parties time to "resolve the issues in this foreclosure action," according to court records. The state still can seek a sale later.
"We need to get with our attorney, Aaron Ridenbaugh, and see what the next phase is on this," said Roy Barr, who operates the 18-hole course with his son, Phil.
The roughly 55 acres at 1211 39th St. NE originally was a dairy farm that the Barr family converted into a golf course in the 1960s.
In 1999, the EPA classified Meadowlake's well water supply as a surface water source, according to past reports. Barr did not meet more stringent monitoring and treatment requirements, and the state in 2006 fined Meadowlake Corp. $300,000 for more than 1,000 intentional violations of drinking water laws.
Barr has disputed the EPA orders, saying the water has tested safe and is not a public supply.
When the state filed a foreclosure complaint in 2016, Meadowlake had paid about $4,000 of the fine, which had accumulated to $429,840 with interest.
Barr said he expects a meeting with state officials to be the "first move." The hope is to reach some sort of financial agreement.
The golf course is being considered for an "expedited" annexation into Canton to receive city water, said Annexation Coordinator Sam Sliman.
"They'd have to negotiate with the EPA about any type of reduction in the fines, penalties and interest, but we would advocate for them once they're in the city like we would for any company that's in the city," Sliman said.
Phil Barr credited city of Canton officials and, more specifically, state Rep. Kirk Schuring, R-Jackson Twp., for facilitating the sale's withdrawal.
"He's the one that's been instrumental on working with us, getting this taken care of," Barr said.
Schuring said he worked with the EPA and Ohio Attorney General's office to postpone the sale because maintaining the golf course would be beneficial for the owners and surrounding community.
"It appears there could be an agreement that would prevent the property from being foreclosed," he said.
In the meantime, Meadowlake still is welcoming season ticket holders. Roy Barr said he expects two more golf leagues to play at Meadowlake this year since other Stark County courses, such as Lake View, Rolling Green and Edgewood, have closed in recentl years.
"The question is, where are the people going to play golf?" he said. "Well, I hope they play at Meadowlake for many years."
Reach Kelly at 330-580-8323
On Twitter: @kbyerREP