Long awaited $4 million revitalization project underway at Conneaut Lake

By Lorri Drumm

Meadville Tribune

March 14, 2018

CONNEAUT LAKE — Tuesday’s cold temperatures and snowflakes didn’t scare away officials from the groundbreaking of a $4 million revitalization project in the borough.
“This isn’t unusual. This is what we do in northwest Pennsylvania,” said Diane Helbig, who attended the event representing state Sen. Michele Brooks, whose 50th District includes all of Crawford County.

Work has started on Water Street and work is scheduled to begin at Fireman’s Beach soon.

The Water Street renovations begin on First Street at the corner where Livingston’s Quality Meat is located and will end just past Second Street in the area in front of Marquette Savings Bank and Lakeside Sweets. Work includes new curbs, sidewalks, placing all the utility lines underground, adding decorative lighting, stormwater drainage and enhancing streetscapes. New 3-foot high masonry urns with shrubs will be placed on the street corners.

Since parking on both sides will be eliminated during construction, space will be available allow two lanes of traffic. Work will be done one side at a time, according to Bill Eldridge, chairman of the Conneaut Lake Community Development Committee. The work starts with the northern side and is expected to be completed by May 18. Work will follow on the southern side and is to be completed within 120 days.

Temporary ramps will be erected to give access to the businesses on Water Street affected by the work, Eldridge said.

Fireman’s Beach renovations will include a new circular entrance with a sign marking it as the beach. Eldridge outlined the new boat docking system and details of the new pedestrian promenade, connecting the beach to Ice House Park and allowing people to walk along the beach without trespassing on private property.

The picnic shelter will be moved closer to the restrooms, and a new playground will be erected.

Work on Fireman’s Beach will begin as soon as weather permits and will be completed by May 25 for Memorial Day weekend. If work on the beach is not completed by May 25, it will be halted and resume after Labor Day. If there’s a delay in the new docks being received, that work will continue through the summer.

Helbig read a proclamation on behalf of Brooks. Helbig expressed Brooks’ regret in not being able to attend the groundbreaking. Brooks described the Conneaut Lake area a “gorgeous sanctuary destined to become even more beautiful.”

Brooks said in the proclamation that she continues to be amazed and inspired by community efforts such as the revitalization project. The corridor is destined to become the pathway to many family memories, she said.

Joining Helbig and Eldridge on Tuesday were Vicki Leap, on behalf of state Rep. Parke Wentling; Chad Waldschmidt, vice chairman of the CLCDC; John O’Grady, borough mayor; Dick Holabaugh, borough council president; Mike Krepps, council member; Penny Monihan, borough council member; and Beverly Mobley, borough council secretary/treasurer.

Lorri Drumm can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at