TRAPSHOOTING: PSSA, Valley Gun Club settle dispute
ELYSBURG - The Pennsylvania State Shoot will remain on the grounds of the Valley Gun and Country Club after a dispute between the club and the Pennsylvania State Sportsmen's Association (PSSA) was recently settled by the two parties.
The parties signed an agreement at the end of May and the PSSA will not pursue a lawsuit filed in March 2012 in Northumberland County Court against the Valley Gun and Country Club.
The two sides are set to meet next week at the county courthouse to finalize the deal, according to PSSA President Mike Schuler of Bradford.
"We had been talking to them for quite a while, and we reached agreement on certain provisions," Schuler said Tuesday. "It was best for both sides to execute an agreement."
The dispute centered on an agreement signed by the parties in 1995 in which the PSSA agreed to pay $550,000 annual payments to the club, in addition to paying property taxes, in exchange for club land in order to expand the shoot as needed over time. The state shoot is the second largest trapshooting event in the United States.
"It really wasn't a dispute," Schuler said. "There were just some ambiguities in the agreement which was signed. Organizations like this, the people in charge come and go, and it took us awhile to get on the same page."
Schuler has been involved with the PSSA for about 25 years but was not an officer at the time of the 1995 agreement. He said he is in his fourth year as president.
The PSSA filed suit against the Valley Gun Club and its officers, President John S. Mushalko Jr., Vice President Edward D. Rakaskie, Secretary Lamar Richie, all of Elysburg; and Andrew Panko of Catawissa, which claimed the club violated the 1995 agreement. One condition the PSSA said the club violated was that club agreed not to accept introduction, election to or membership of any additional 'A' members after the date of the
agreement. Another condition stated that upon the death of the last of any of the existing 'A' members, operation and assets of the club would be turned over to the PSSA.
PSSA had threatened to leave the Elysburg site in the future, taking the state shoot and other smaller events held during the year to another part of the state, which would have been an economic hit to the area of about $1 million a year, according to official estimates.
Mushalko could not be reached for comment.