Easements eyed for revitalization; $30K in drawings approved

The Meadville Tribune
By Jean Shanley
Tuesday, November 17, 2015

CONNEAUT LAKE  ̶  Work continues to move forward on the Conneaut Lake Revitalization Program.

Bill Eldridge, a member of Conneaut Lake Borough Council and chairman of the Conneaut Lake Community Development Committee, reviewed various matters for borough council at its most recent meeting.

Prior to the meeting, he showed council members a set of many drawings, which have been submitted to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for approval.  The project includes Water Street, which is a state highway.  The drawings detailed many aspects of the project.

Various easements from 14 property owners in the project area must be obtained, Eldridge said.  He also said in addition to the larger set of drawings, PennDOT now requires individual drawings for each of the easement areas.

Council approved paying $30,000 for the drawings to be completed.

Eldridge also discussed the plan to connect Ice House Park and Fireman’s Beach with the main business district.  He said Bob and Kathy Moss have decided to give a permanent easement for private property they own.  That will allow a paved trail to be put in place along First Street, he said.

That will allow a short underground tunnel similar to those used for golfers crossing main highways to be used to connect Fireman’s Beach and Ice House Park, Eldridge said.  By using the underground tunnel – projected to be 20 feet long by  about eight or nine feet high – the Moss family would still have its same unobstructed view of the lake.  Currently, residents in the area walk on the Moss property, he said.  

Eldridge also asked Jeff Millin, borough attorney, to contact Dawn Eaton, who owns property on First Street, regarding an obstruction on property owned by the borough right next to her property.  The obstruction must be taken care of now, Eldridge said.

“We’re getting close to the final drawings (for the plan),” said Eldridge, who added that he assumes the property owners will be reasonable regarding the easements and he hopes the process is completed within a month.

The hope is that the project is put out for bid this spring and construction starts shortly thereafter.  The multi-million dollar, multi-year project involves revitalization of Fireman’s Beach as well as the downtown business area on Water Street.

The development committee has obtained more than $3 million in state and federal grants so far for the revitalization.  More grant applications are pending and Eldridge said he will continue to apply for other funds as they become available.