Any thoughts that there might be a reconcilliation between Alburtis Fire Company and the operator of Alburtis Park seemingly would be dashed by word that the park's contents will be sold at auction on Oct. 26.
October 27 and 28 was to be the park's Halloween Weekend, a last hurrah for the 2012 season. Instead, the only trick being played will be a cruel one for those who loved the way the country music venue was being run. The facility's contents, owned by park operator Jack Stull, is scheduled to be auctioned at 3 p.m. Oct. 26.
The auction is the result of the abrupt Sept. 13 closure of the park for the remainder of the season. It was announced that Stull would no longer be the park's operator, and it was soon learned that the Fire Company, the park's owner, had filed a landlord-tenant complaint with the magistrate seeking back payment of rent.
Fire Company officials padlocked the park's facilities and posted signs to keep out.
Although things looked dim for the 87-year tradition to continue, the Fire Company has since vowed that the park will re-open in 2013. Officials said they will announce later how the park will be run, whether it's by finding another operator or some other means.
The auction will be conducted by Somers Auctioneering of Upper Saucon Township. The 3 p.m. sale will be held at the park at 328 S. Main St. A preview will begin at 2 p.m.
A listing on the auctioneer's website describes the sale items only as "contents of Alburtis Park." It says items will be listed soon. However, a link allows viewers to see photos. Sale items appear to be a good deal of kitchen equipment, the park's benches and tables, sheds and a trailer. True collector's items may be somewhat sparse, but a pot-bellied stove and the several-foot-high windmill that stood at an entrance are among the pictured items.
When Stull spoke to Patch about the park's sudden closure, he said he tired of Fire Company officials telling him how to run the park. He said he proposed in recent months that the Fire Company buy his equipment for $30,000. The items that he said he offered to sell the Fire Company appear to be those that are pictured on the Somers' website.
It was unclear who engaged Somers, who could not be reached last evening, to conduct the sale.
The park opened in 1925. It featured free country music for decades.
The facility fell on hard financial times in recent years, and Stull attempted to rescue it four yours ago when he became its operator. After three years of losses, he implemented a $3 admission fee to open the 2012 season. Although attendance was down, he told Patch in August that the admission had offset the costs sufficiently to announce that there would be a 2013 season.
However, behind the scenes, Stull and Fire Company officials continued to have a contentious relationship. That led to the abrupt closure last month.
Stull paid $500 per month in rent to the Fire Company. He told Patch last month that he was relatively current with his payments, but filed civil complaint alleges that he was several payments in arrears.