The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

July 6, 2013

Gun club land fight in court

By Ashley Wislock
The Daily Item

ELYSBURG — Weeks after the Pennsylvania State Sportsmen Association and the Valley Gun & Country Club announced they had settled a land dispute, the groups were back at odds in Northumberland County Court.

The sides disagree about the terms of a signed settlement agreement, reached in May, though lawyers for the groups remained quiet on the details.

“We have a settlement agreement that has been signed, which has a provision in it that I can’t comment on,” said Helen L. Gemmill, a Harrisburg-based attorney representing the gun club. “The issue was discussed with the judge and that no resolution has been determined yet.”

Paul M. Perlstein, the Doylestown attorney for the PSSA, could not be reached for comment.

In March 2011, PSSA sued the gun club and its officers for failing to abide by a January 1995 agreement to transfer four parcels of land to the association. For the past 15 years, the association claims, it paid the club’s property taxes, plus more than $550,000 under the land transfer agreement, which required payment of one cent for every clay target thrown on the grounds.

The club responded that no agreement existed regarding a land transfer and all payments made were for the club operations only.

Last month, the parties announced they had reached an aggrement “to amicably resolve all disputes and conflicts the two have had” and keep the yearly trap shooting competition at the club.

One of the largest tourism events in the Valley, the nine-day event held in June attracts more than 2,000 competitors and brings in about $1 million in revenue.

However, the sides may now be headed to a trial to settle the dispute.

On Tuesday, Northumberland County Judge William Harvey Wiest said he would be issuing an order for evidence to be made available to both attorneys and would begin scheduling further court action.