Start date for Fireman’s Beach work up in air

By Jean Shanley

Meadville Tribune
January 23, 2017

CONNEAUT LAKE — The Conneaut Lake Community Development Committee (CLCDC) is awaiting an answer from the federal Economic Development Administration before it will know if the revitalization work on Fireman’s Beach will begin this spring — or not until after Labor Day.

The EDA had approved a $1 million grant for work on Water Street in the borough.

However, CLCDC has decided to have the Water Street work and Fireman s Beach project done as one project and is seeking approval to use some of the $1 million for some of the work at the beach. The reason for combining the two projects is to save money on the multi-million dollar revitalization project spearheaded by CLCDC.

Bill Eldridge, chairman of the CLCDC and a member of borough council, told council at its recent meeting the CLCDC is now waiting to hear from the federal government. He said U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey is helping with the logistics and U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly’s office also has been involved.

If the answer is yes, that some of the funds could be used, the work could begin this spring and then take a break for the summer season before resuming after Labor Day. If the funds cannot be used, the CLCDC will re-evaluate what can be done with existing funds and work will begin after Labor Day when the tourist season is over, Eldridge said.

In the meantime, as announced previously, the CLCDC received another $475,000 grant from the state — making the total grants received more than $3.5 million.

Eldridge also announced some private donations received during the last month. They include a $10,000 donation from Glen Moss, a former Conneaut Lake resident; a $1,000 donation from Rocco Tedesco of Dickson Funeral Home at Conneaut Lake (the fifth time he has made similar donations); and $1,000 from Susan Duddy and Richard Drespling, who have given similar donations three previous times.

In-kind services were received from Mario DeBlasio construction firm totaling $3,700 for helping place the woolly mammoth sculpture on the beach; and $1,250 in services from Pipeline Systems Inc. for helping with the woolly mammoth sculpture on the beach.

In other news regarding the beach, it was announced there is a waiting list for dock rentals this year and until contracts have been returned from existing dock renters, it will be not be known how many will be available.

Council also gave approval to the Conneaut Lake Area Historical Society to use Fireman’s Beach for its second annual Paddlefest on Aug 6.