Jim Thorpe drops train lawsuit; talks ongoing
Berkheimer, the tax collection agency representing Jim Thorpe borough, is dropping a lawsuit it filed earlier this year seeking nearly $100,000 in unpaid amusement taxes for the past three years from Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway.
Jim Thorpe Borough Council President Greg Strubinger said the action would be without prejudice, meaning if talks between the two sides don’t progress in 2020, the borough has the option to refile the lawsuit.
“We want to come up with a solution that works for everyone,” Strubinger said.
Berkheimer filed the lawsuit in September and the railroad subsequently announced it would be stopping excursion train rides out of Jim Thorpe on Nov. 25 over the tax dispute with the borough.
After that announcement, the borough had at least one meeting with Lehigh Gorge officials, but details were scarce due to the signing of a nondisclosure agreement.
According to a social media post by Michael Rivkin, acting president of the Jim Thorpe Tourism Agency, the railroad has said they will not meet again until 2020.
“The next step is the borough now waits for the railroad to contact them about the next meeting,” the post said.
LGSR began operating excursion rides out of Jim Thorpe 15 years ago.
In its October announcement, LGSR officials said the closure of the excursion rides would not affect RBMN passenger operations from other locations to Jim Thorpe.
LGSR officials could not be reached for comment to confirm whether they would still shut down the excursion rides on Nov. 25 following the borough’s announcement it was dropping the lawsuit.