William Boucher, first GBC chief, files Chapter 11

March 10, 1994|By Joel Obermayer | Joel Obermayer,Sun Staff Writer

William Boucher III, the first executive director of the Greater Baltimore Committee, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Mr. Boucher held the top post at the committee for 25 years, until 1981, and is a founder of the public relations firm Boucher Boucher & Yuhanick, now known as BB&Y.

In a statement, Mr. Boucher blamed the filing on "an unfortunate real estate undertaking" and difficulties related to his investments in Medical Waste Associates, a partnership that owns a waste-disposal facility at Hawkins Point in South Baltimore.

Mr. Boucher's attorney, Andrew J. Toland, said the move would allow his client to get past a temporary cash crisis.

"He is certainly solvent, he has net assets. It's a cash flow thing," Mr. Toland said.

Mr. Boucher has more than $1.2 million in assets and more than $500,000 in debts, according to his filing. The bankruptcy was brought on when one of Mr. Boucher's creditors demanded a $336,000 payment owed on Black Pine Farm, a 189-acre tract in Baltimore County, according to Mr. Toland.

Mr. Boucher had hoped to make the payment with proceeds from his investment in Medical Waste Associates, but has been unable to do so because the partnership has yet to turn a profit, Mr. Toland said.

BB&Y is unaffected by the filing. Mr. Boucher sold his interest in the firm to John Yuhanick in 1992.

Mr. Boucher and his wife Anne Carey Boucher are stockholders in Chesapeake Equities Corp.

Mr. Boucher said that before "the recent disastrous real estate recession" the company bought Black Pine Farm with the intention of developing it for residential use and selling lots. But persistent opposition from neighbors and the Valleys Planning Council scared away potential buyers, he said.

When Chesapeake Equities restructured its debt, Mr. Boucher said, he had to personally guarantee a loan the company used to buy the property. Real estate conditions did not improve. When the creditor moved to collect, possibly by taking Mr. Boucher's house, Mr. Boucher was forced to file for bankruptcy.

Medical Waste Associates has not fared much better. The firm's Hawkins Point incinerator was delayed by community opposition and was the subject of several lawsuits.

"Because of the extremely difficult and time-consuming efforts to place this facility on a profitable basis, we have not received any distribution from our stock in the five years since we started this undertaking," Mr. Boucher said in his statement.

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