Bid process is next big step in Conneaut Lake revitalization

When Conneaut Lake revitalization begins depends on when bids are put out

Jean Shanley
Meadville Tribune
Oct 8, 2016

CONNEAUT LAKE — Whether work to revitalize Fireman’s Beach and Water Street in downtown Conneaut Lake takes place in January, February or September will depend on when bids are put out.

At a work session of borough council Wednesday evening, Bill Eldridge, chairman of the Conneaut Lake Community Development Committee (CLCDC) and a member of council, reviewed some of the preliminary plans for changes to be made during the construction at Fireman’s Beach.

He asked council members to review all the ideas and be prepared to make suggestions and decisions regarding the next step in the process.

Bob Moss, a member of the CLCDC who has been instrumental in planning the redevelopment, spoke briefly to council, telling members not to panic if they could not put the project out for bid this year so work could begin in February.

The issue of whether to put the project out for bid before all the final permits are received for the project was discussed. Moss said it would be better if all the permits were received before going out for bid.

There are several state and federal agencies involved in granting the permits, Moss said, and he expects they will get the permits done to meet the schedule. Pre-bid conferences are held so all potential bidders can ask questions and see certain criteria is met, he said.

If bids could be put out so construction could start in January or February, it would be good, Moss said. If not, the work could begin in September. The work will not be done at Fireman’s Beach during the tourist season when the borough makes money on the docks.

More than $3 million in grants has been collected to revitalize Fireman’s Beach and downtown Conneaut Lake.

Eldridge reviewed the list of numerous specific improvements included in the project and asked council members to review them. He also said there is still one grant pending for $475,000 for work between Second and Third streets on Water Street.

The current project is for the First Street area of Water Street and for Fireman’s Beach.

Moss encouraged council members to consider alternate work, which could be done if there is enough money.

“You won’t want to send any money back (to the state),” he said.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is more flexible regarding alternates, Moss said, but the state Department of Transportation does not like alternates.

Moss has had extensive work in construction, including the development of Ice House Park at Conneaut Lake.

Council still hopes to be able to put the project out for bid by the end of the year with construction to start in January or February.