End in sight of dispute over Mount Tom quarry? Homeowners seek to withdraw bankruptcy petition, cite ‘settlement’ with state

0

HOLYOKE – The ongoing case over the future of the former Mount Tom quarry may be on the verge of being resolved as the quarry owners seek to withdraw their claim in US bankruptcy court in a an as yet undisclosed settlement with the State of Massachusetts. .

A hearing is scheduled for Friday on the expedited motion to dismiss the Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition filed by attorney Jonathan R. Goldsmith, representing Mt. Tom Companies, which is owned by Matthew L. Donohue and Timothy P. Kennedy of Holyoke. . Mount Tom Companies is asking for an expedited hearing because, according to court documents, “the terms of the settlement require it to be consummated by the end of the state fiscal year on June 30.

The terms of the settlement are not disclosed.

The state environmental affairs executive declined to comment on the settlement while the case remains in bankruptcy court. They referred the calls to the state attorney general’s office.

Goldsmith of the Springfield firm of Goldsmith, Katz and Argenio, could not be reached for comment.

The attorney general’s office confirmed a hearing was scheduled for Friday but had no information on the terms of the settlement.

At the time the bankruptcy petition was filed in April 2021, the quarry was overseen by two parties who each had different plans for the 16-acre site.

Donohue and Kennedy, who also operate a company called Site Reclamation LLC, wanted to fill the quarry hole with leftover soil from other construction sites. Eventually, in maybe 20 years, the quarry would be filled in and the slope of the mountain would return to its original state.

The state’s Executive Office of Environmental Affairs wanted to preserve the quarry site as it is. It was planned to limit motorized access to the quarry floor to protect the native plants, frogs and salamanders that thrive there and to install a guardrail around its rim to protect hikers.

The proposal to fill the quarry generated an opposition campaign, called No Dump on Mount Tom, among people who wanted the mountain to be preserved as a place for hiking and recreation. They claimed that trucks traveling on the narrow roads leading to the quarry site would be dangerous and disruptive to the environment.

In late 2020, the state Department of Conservation and Recreation filed a 90-day notice to Mt. Tom Companies of its intention to claim ownership of the 16-acre property, citing the purchase by the State in 2002 of the former ski area of ​​Mount Tom for 1.3 million dollars. . This purchase, intended to preserve the mountain from private developers, included a grandfather clause allowing the quarry to continue in operation for 10 years but allowing the state to acquire it at no cost once it ceased to operate. to be a career in activity.

The quarry was last mined in 2012.

On March 25 of this year, the day the state signaled its intention to take ownership, Mt. Tom Companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing more than $400,000 in debt, mostly 327 $000 due to Holyoke in property taxes and $93,000 due to Site Management.

The bankruptcy petition suspended the ownership dispute.

Mt. Tom Companies LLC petitioned the bankruptcy court to declare void the 2002 agreement giving DCR an option to the quarry site because it was never registered with the Deeds Registry.

DCR argued that the option remained valid without being registered with the register, and that the bankruptcy case should be dismissed as Mt Tom Companies is not a company seeking reorganization and the case “did not no real goal of bankruptcy”.

Court documents filed May 25 say the Mount Tom Companies and DCR officials are “engaged in negotiations to try to resolve their differences” and those negotiations led to a “settlement” that negates the need for chapter protection. 11.

The same documents indicate that Mount Tom Companies has reached a resolution with its two main creditors, the City of Holyoke and Site Reclamation, and that each supports the rejection of the bankruptcy filing.

They also say that Mount Tom Companies has sufficient funds to pay taxes owed to the State Department of Revenue and the Federal Revenue Service. The site owes $2,228 in state taxes and $100 in federal taxes.

A June 7 court filing by the state Department of Revenue says the department is withdrawing its claim on $1,695 owed by Mount Tom Companies.

Related Content:

  • Who owns this mountain? : State claims stakes in former Mount Tom quarry as owners seek bankruptcy protection
  • Future of Holyoke’s Mount Tom quarry hinges on bankruptcy case
Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.