Committee hoping more grants come through to revitalize Conneaut Lake Borough

By Jean Shanley

Meadville Tribune
July 19, 2016

CONNEAUT LAKE — The borough didn’t receive three grants in its push to fund its revitalization, but two more grants applications are currently being considered.

Bill Eldridge, a member of borough council and chairman of the Conneaut Lake Community Development Committee (CLCDC), reported that information to council during its most recent meeting. The borough’s revitalization is being spearheaded by the CLCDC.

It was not totally surprising that the applications were denied because the process is very competitive and things are still unsettled in Harrisburg regarding the total state budget, Eldridge reported at the meeting.

With the applications not being funded this year, the CLCDC is now working with agencies that have given nine previous grants to the CLCDC to seek approval to use those funds to combine a proposed Water Street revitalization project with a Fireman’s Beach upgrade, Eldridge said.

The CLCDC has been working very closely with the agencies to get the necessary approvals, he said. If those approvals are received, the project could possibly go out for bid later this year with construction to begin in the spring on Water Street.

Work on Fireman’s Beach also could begin with work to be done as much as possible around the tourist season, he said. What changes might have to be made to do the previous plans are still being determined.

Eldridge is optimistic about the possibility of receiving a couple million dollars in grants from the governor’s office and a $475,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for the project.

More than $3 million already has been received for the revitalization project, which began in 2011 when a grant was requested.

The revitalization plan calls for various upgrades on Water Street, including everything from sanitary sewers to benches and improvements to sidewalks as well as landscaping and putting some utility lines underground.

The more than $3 million raised has been through a combination of federal, state and local grants as well as private donations.

The CLCDC is a committee of borough council. The committee has been seeking grants for which council can apply for the project.