Mountain Creek misses payment

By Mike Zummo
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a developing story and will be updated.
VERNON — Mountain Creek did not make its Jan. 31 payment to Vernon Township of $448,481, Mayor Harry Shortway said on Friday.
Shortway said Mountain Creek’s next payment is due on March 1.
The payments are for Mountain Creek’s portion of a bond payment to the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority in which the resort is responsible for 63 percent and the township making up the rest.
Shortway said at the Feb. 15 township council meeting that the bond payment for 2018 is about $700,000 and the amount increases annually to $1 million by 2022 before jumping to $1.25 million ni 2023 where it will remain constant for several years.
Shortway said Friday he has heard nothing from Mountain Creek.
“This whole thing is coming out of their Chapter 11 filing,” Shortway said Friday. “We’re spending tens of thousands of dollars to defend our position.”
Shortway said the Vernon Township MUA shortfall is forecast to be $592,276 and if no Equivalent Dwelling Units are added, it will increase to $1,432,970 by 2025, which could increase Mountain Creek’s deficit payment to $902,771.10.
Mountain Creek also was obligated to rebuild Pump Station 2 by 2007, but this was extended to July 1, 2013, by the 2012 interlocal agreement between the township and resort.
Shortway said this obligation has not been fulfilled.
The township extended a $1.9 million letter of credit should Mountain Creek not fulfill its obligation, but Shortway said the letter of credit will only cover two years of deficit payment.
“You can’t stick this debt on $1,400 users,” Shortway said.
A call placed to Mountain Creek on Friday afternoon was not answered.