The Meadville Tribune

By Jean Shanley
Saturday, February 15, 2014

CONNEAUT LAKE --- A survey to determine the needs of downtown business properties will be underway soon.

Conneaut Lake Borough Council at a recent meeting approved an agreement between the borough in cooperation with Conneaut Lake Community Development Committee and E.G.& G., a division of CT Consultants Inc., to do a survey of properties along the business district on Water Street in the borough.

The survey will be the beginning of what will be the transformation of the business district, according to Bill Eldridge, a council member who is the liaison between borough council and the CLCDC.

He said the contract would be with a firm to do a survey at a cost of $24,700 to be paid with grant funds.  Staff members will contact each business owner to do a survey regarding 20 factors to see what is needed.  In this way, plans can be made for future development, he said.

Dick Holabaugh, president of council and a business owner in the district, questioned what this would require business owners to do if some of the items on the survey are not in accordance with what may be expected.

Eldridge assured Holabaugh that the survey is to help the design engineer determine the needs of the businesses, not to require businesses to make any specific changes.

Mayor Tim Kaider pointed out that before any work can be done on the project, the engineer has to know what needs to be done.

The 90-day contract calls for the survey work to be completed by the end of May.

At the beginning of the meeting, Holabaugh told council that Eldridge and Chad Waldschmidt from the CLCDC had spent considerable time in Harrisburg two weeks ago, meeting personally with representatives from various agencies regarding grants which may be available for the CLCDC project of upgrading the borough, including infrastructure, the beach and underground wiring for utilities.  He expressed his appreciation for the two men’s time and efforts to secure grants for the borough.

Eldridge said they have found that personal contact with the agencies is very helpful and said they met with the governor’s office and had a very positive reaction.

Work continues on obtaining more grants for the multi-year improvement project.