Conneaut township park projects planned for this year | Local news

CONNEAUT – Two major projects are planned for the Conneaut Township Park this year, with state funding helping to fund both projects.

Last year, township park officials began applying for grants to repair the bridge over Kelsey’s Run.

Park administrator Michael Smith said the park received a $ 128,000 grant from the Community Development Block Grant for bridge repairs. The park also received $ 5,000 from the Ashtabula County Metroparks, thanks to funding the Metroparks receives from the Ohio Department of Transportation, he said. The township park board is grateful for the grant funding, Smith said.

Earlier, Smith said the bridge was designed in 1929 and built in 1930, and the process of repairing the bridge was labor intensive.

The park had previously sought to fund half the cost of the $ 346,000 project with grants, Smith said. He said it was only one in three votes, but that he would be in favor of starting the project with the external funding already secured and paying the rest from the park’s permanent improvement funds. “Our plan from the start was to make this project happen,” Smith said.

Ashtabula County Director of Community Services and Planning Jake Brand said an environmental review is currently underway. Once the review is complete, it will go to the state, and once approved, the state will authorize the release of funds. Brand said that depending on the results of the review, funding could be released as early as April.

Plans are also underway to replace the concession stand and park washrooms this fall, Smith said. Work on the new concession stand will begin after Labor Day, after Conneaut’s D-Day, he said. “They will pull that out in September 2022 and then start the construction phase if time permits,” Smith said.

The pavilion currently attached to the concession stand will remain in place, Smith said. “We updated it, and it’s good,” he said.

The new concession stand will be removed from it slightly, Smith said.

The park received a grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for half the cost of the project, $ 379,500, Smith said. The park also put $ 250,000 in the state’s capital budget and received $ 75,000 from the 2020 Civic Development Corporation fundraising campaign. “This is all for the concession stand, the restroom project,” Smith said.

The park also received a grant for the replacement of 1,000 feet of new boardwalk, Smith said. This project will hopefully be completed by July 4, he said.

“We have irons in the fire,” Smith said. “It’s going to be an exciting time.”

The park couldn’t complete projects of this size or apply for grants without the permanent improvement tax approved by Conneaut voters, Smith said. “It is because they have achieved this that we have been able to get this funding and we can get more for our money with this permanent improvement tax,” he said.

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