Project gets planning-stage grant from state

By Jean Shanley
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

CONNEAUT LAKE — This summer’s visitors to Conneaut Lake Borough have already noticed some changes being made—a new sandwich franchise has posted “coming soon” signs in the window of the former Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant, and other construction efforts are started on some business-district building facades.

Now, some more good news for the borough’s Streetscape Program, which promises a major facelift throughout the community in the next few years.

Conneaut Lake Community Development Committee has raised nearly $70,000 in private donations and has received the first installment of a state grant for the planning phase of the program.

Working with borough council to improve the town, the CLCDC is conducting a fundraising campaign to raise $150,000 for the first phase (the planning stage) of the $3 million project.

Ed Yates, chairman of the CLCDC, told Conneaut Lake Borough Council at its recent meeting that the first $9,000 of the $25,000 state grant has been received.

He also said E.G. & G., the firm hired to do the planning, has revised the plans to accommodate suggestions made by area residents after the proposed plans were reviewed by the public.
Yates said E.G. & G. is in the process now of writing grants for the Streetscape Program which includes infrastructure upgrades, new on-street lighting and improved sidewalks in the borough, as well as upgrades to Fireman’s Beach.

Projects will be started as funds from various grants are received, Yates said, pointing out that some grants may be for recreation (such as work at the beach) and others for the infrastructure and streetscape work.  The order of work to be done will be determined by which grants are received, Yates said.

Dick Holabaugh, council president, said he hopes E.G. & G. is not influenced regarding which grants to seek first and said that council “can take what we can get.”

Council will make the final decision on any of the projects, Holabaugh said.

Concerns about whether Conneaut Lake Aquatic Management Association will have access for a week harvester was expressed at the meeting, and assurance was given that it will.

Other concerns expressed were about boat trailers and other recreation vehicles being parked at the beach.

All those concerns will be examined, according to Bill Eldridge, a member of council as well as the CLCDC.

In the meantime, work continues on raising the funds which will be used toward payment for E.G. & G. and other expenses in the planning phase.