Darren Doyle, story and photo:
The county voted in a closed session to pursue a civil lawsuit against The Fortress Group dba Park Mammoth Resort for unpaid room and recreational taxes owed to Edmonson County fiscal court, according to Judge Executive Wil Cannon.
The subject of back taxes owed by the group to fiscal court was first discussed in November of 2015 when the business owed more than $92,000 to the county, dating back to 2010. A payment plan was set up and agreed upon by both the county and Park Mammoth, but according to Cannon, the group has failed to stay up to date on their payments.
In a phone call, Cannon said the group owes somewhere around $80,000 in back taxes, including a March 2018 payment of $5,000 that was returned for insufficient funds.
Room Taxes are paid by county entities that offer lodging services. That money goes to Edmonson County Tourism. Recreational Taxes are paid to the county by business that offer recreational opportunities, such as golf, horseback riding, canoeing, off-road trails, etc., which goes to Edmonson County Parks and Rec.
Judge Cannon did not disclose the discussion that took place in the closed meeting, just that the fiscal court voted to move forward with legal action.
A request for comment from The Fortress Group was not immediately returned as owners said they wanted to discuss the situation before commenting. They said they had not been notified of the fiscal court's decision.
We will have updates as comments and other information about the suit become available.
In the closed session, the court also voted to terminate the employment of the County Treasurer, Margret Page. No information was available due to the discussion being held in closed session; however, today's fiscal court agenda that was made available to the public listed item "BB." which said "Personnel Issues/Audit Findings."
Judge Cannon said those audit findings are currently not available to the public and he was unsure if the information would be made public.
Mrs. Page has been an employee of the county for several years, dating back to the N.E. Reed administration.