Conneaut Lake leaders to submit revised plan for revitalization of Fireman’s Beach

By: Jean Shanley

Meadville Tribune
August 20, 2016

CONNEAUT LAKE — Borough Council accepted a request from the Conneaut Lake Community Development Committee to submit a revised plan for revitalization of Fireman’s Beach to the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for its approval.

The proposal also includes a request to allow the value of a proposed donation of lakefront property to be used as part of the matching funds required for the $775,000 grant.

Bob and Kathy Moss have offered the donation of the property valued at $250,000 if it can be used toward the matching funds requirement.

The land links Fireman’s Beach with Ice House Park, which is part of the planned revitalization project being spearheaded by the Conneaut Lake Community Development Committee (CLCDC).

At last week’s meeting, council declined to approve sending the letter because several council members had not seen the request before the meeting and wanted time to study it.

Bill Eldridge, chairman of the CLCDC and a member of council, had requested the approval last week.

Eldridge answered questions from other council members about the scaled back scope to the plans because not all the funds needed have been received.

The plans still call for docks, sidewalks, a green space, sidewalks and other improvements to the beach.

Eldridge reminded council he had previously told them several times about seeking approval to join the Fireman’s Beach and Water Street projects because not all the funding requested had been received. CLCDC has received about $3 million in grants for the two projects.

Bob Moss also spoke at the meeting. He told council he has a background in construction and knows how to plan for projects.

“I see a good plan,” he told council, adding he feels “very comfortable” recommending council sign the letter to the DCNR about the proposed changes.

Moss said after studying the plans he is “very, very confident” the work can be done with the allocated funds if the approval is given for the property donation to be used toward the matching funds.

He also said a lot of people love “their town” and he would be more than happy to help pull it all together.

Council President Dick Holabaugh termed the proposed donation as “unbelievably generous” and said council just needed to get answers about what the borough would be responsible for financially from borough taxpayers.

Mike Krepps, another council member, said he appreciated having the extra time to have the opportunity to study the revised plan and the request before approving it.

After the lengthy discussion, council voted unanimously to approve the request.

Eldridge also asked council to have a work session before the next council meeting to review all the CLCDC plans for the revitalization project.

Council members agreed and scheduled a work session for Aug. 31 at 7 p.m