Judge rules for Y, Crary Home

Bench trials in the cases of the Warren YMCA and the Crary Home vs. the Warren County Board of Assessment Appeals have been canceled and the cases dismissed with prejudice.

Both organizations retain their tax-exempt status.

In August, Warren County Court of Common Pleas Judge Gregory Hammond handed down summary judgments in related cases involving Warren General Hospital and the Rouse Estate.

The YMCA and the Crary opted not to pursue the “sua sponte” issue. That procedural problem that the board of appeals acted on its own and did not have the authority to do so was the justification for Hammond’s summary judgment.

Warren County President Judge Maureen Skerda exercised coordinate jurisdiction to rule on the YMCA and Crary cases.

“After conference with both parties… the parties’ stipulation is withdrawn that… Warren County Board of Assessment Appeals has cured the procedural defect,” Skerda wrote in orders filed Tuesday, Sept. 24. “The tax exempt status of the YMCA (Crary Home) subject to this action is confirmed. The case at this docket number is dismissed with prejudice.”

“Any further action with respect to the tax exempt status… shall be heard by the Warren County Board of Assessment Appeals,” Skerda wrote in the orders.

“I’m cautiously optimistic that maybe we can go forward and we can continue to do the work that we do every day to meet the needs of the community,” YMCA CEO Thad Turner said on Monday.

“With this ruling, this will give us more time to come to a possible agreement with the commissioners,” Crary Home Administrator Darrell Pusateri said. “If we come to an agreement, then we will minimize our legal fees. Also, a ‘summit’ with the School Board would not be out of the question if the commissioners would agree to it.”

The YMCA was scheduled to appear in court Monday. The Crary Home trial was set for Tuesday.