TISHA WILKINSON ON HER FATHER MERV’S WILDWOOD WORRIES: ‘There’s no covenant because of the mortgages’

‘WILDWOOD IS IN VERY BAD SHAPE,’ SAID TISHA WILKINSON

Merve Wilkinson sold Wildwood Forest to TLC in 2000. But in June, 96-year-old Wilkinson said he wanted to buy the property back because he is concerned the TLC is more interested in using it as a park than as a working forest.

MERV WILKINSON AT WILDWOOD: Debra Brash photo.

 

Legendary eco-forester Merv Wilkinson is questioning what the future holds for his Yellow Point property under the control of The Land Conservancy, says his daughter.

“He is worried about the property geting lost because there’s no protection for it.

“There’s no covenant because of the mortgages.

“Whose hand is it going to end up in?” said Tisha Wilkinson.

Wildwood, a 32-heactare property that Wilkinson logged sustainably for 60 years, was sold to the TLC in 2000 for $1.01 million and $228,847 is still owing on six mortgages. 

Merv Wilkinson, 96, who initially funded a $100,000 mortgage on Wildwood, called in the mortgage last year and has been trying to repurchase the property because he is not happy with the way it is being managed.

However, TLC has said a resale is impossible because tax receipts and benefits were involved with the original purchase.

“Merve can’t run Wildwood and it would be a violation of the agreement we made with him and his wife,” said TLC executive director Bill Turner.

[CCC BLOG editor’s note: Mr. Turner is referring to the late Anne Pask Wilkinson]

The mortgages have not been paid off because it is very difficult to raise funds for a property once it has been purchased, Turner said.

So we must either pay them down as we can using general funds or look for a special donor.”

Tisha Wilkinson said she is working with others to try and meet her father’s wishes and one of her biggest concerns is poor maintenance on the property.

Several directors who resigned from the board this year say that a lack of funds for maintenance and restoration is among their financial concerns about TLC.

Between 2008 and 2009, only $119,263 was spent on repairs and maintenance, out of expenditures of $6.3 million, which included more than $2 million for salaries, wages and benefits.

“Wildwood is in very bad shape,” said Tisha Wilkinson.

The family spent weeks trying to clear a roadway leading to the house because service vehicles, including the oil truck and ambulance, had difficulty getting through, she said.

Donated material and volunteer labour are not sufficient to run the eco-forestry operation, which, if organized properly, could be paying for mainteance, Tisha Wilkinson said.

“The Land Conservancy is good with land that just sits there, like beaches, but they don’t have a clue what it takes to run an operation on their properties,” she said.

However, Turner said there are now different definitions of what constitutes eco-forestry, including longer rotations for trees.

Bill Turner is  executive director of The Land Conservancy of B.C. Letter-writers  suggest Turner and TLC's board don't deserve the criticism they are  facing over its financial situation.

TLC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TURNER:

Does he think he knows more about eco forestry than

Merv Wilkinson?

 

CCC BLOG repost:

Ex-owner worries for TLC land

Judith Lavoie: jlavoie@tc.canwest.com

Victoria Times Colonist: timescolonist.com

Friday, September 17, 2010

Page A3

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2 Responses to TISHA WILKINSON ON HER FATHER MERV’S WILDWOOD WORRIES: ‘There’s no covenant because of the mortgages’

  1. Steve Wood says:

    Why does the Land Conservancy want to keep Wildwood and not raise needed funds by selling it back to Merv for $1,01 mil?

  2. goyodelarosa says:

    Thanks for your comment, Steve.

    TLC has an ethical obligation to sell the property to the Wilkinson’s.

    The assessed value of the property should not be a factor in determining the asking price.

    That should be nothing more than the value of the outstanding mortgages, in my humble opinion.

    That would be a real bargain for the Wilkinsons, of course, but would also help to repair the terrible reputation that TLC has acquired for itself by its fiscally irresponsible mortgaging practices.

    TLC won’t likely do this without a fight. But if TLC is determined to be insolvent by the accountants, some properties in the portfolio will definitely have to be sacrificed.

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