Redevelopment area focus of public hearing

CONNEAUT LAKE — Formation of a redevelopment area in the borough is the focus of a public hearing to be held Wednesday at 6:30p.m. by Conneaut Lake Borough Council at the Conneaut Lake Area Ambulance Service Station, 290 S. Fourth St.

Public comment will be head at the meeting regarding the proposal to designate part of the borough as a redevelopment area.  The area will be bordered by First Street on the east, Strawberry Alley on the south, Fourth Street on the west and Church Lane to the north.  It also includes the right-of-way along Water Street between the lake culvert and First Street.

A resolution also will be proposed at the meeting regarding establishment of the area.  Designating a redevelopment area makes the borough eligible to apply for grants, which are available for redevelopment purposes.

It is all part of the revitalization project being spearheaded by Conneaut Lake Community Development Committee in cooperation with borough council.

Bill Eldridge, a member of the CLCDC and borough council, said an informal visual survey was done by EG&G of Akron, Ohio, the consultant hired by the CLCDC and borough council, to develop a plan and seek funding for the revitalization project.

Eldridge said some of the improvements needed include some roofing, siding, downspouts, gutters and bricks as well as sidewalks and curbs.

According to a resolution passed by Crawford County Planning Commission regarding the project and then forwarded to Conneaut Lake Borough council, the consultant found that 97.3 percent of the designated area had streets and infrastructures which need improvements and 54.5 percent of the buildings have deficiencies.

The planning commission, in its resolution, recognized that “conditions in the designated area are substandard and have and will continue to result in making such area economic or social liabilities harmful to the social and economic well being of the entire community, depreciating values therein, reducing tax revenue and thereby depreciating further and general communitywide values.”

Eldridge said the designation of the redevelopment area would strictly be for improvements to the area—not for Fireman’s Beach.  He said CLCDC and borough council continue to move forward to seek other grants for various needs of the community.

Following the meeting about the redevelopment area, a special meeting of borough council will begin at 6:45 p.m. at the same location regarding an application for a $375,000 grant for the purpose of funding the downtown and Fireman’s Beach revitalization.

The grant, if received, would help with funding of Fireman’s Beach upgrades, which potentially would increase revenue in the borough.

Eldridge said the revitalization project continues to move forward on seeking grants and other funding for the upgrades needed in the borough.

After the public meeting and the special meeting, a regular monthly meeting of borough council will begin at the same location.