The new, non-profit corporation Barbara J Cruises, LLC was formed for the purpose of bringing regular scheduled cruises on Conneaut Lake’s historic sternwheeler back into operation. The boat is now under new ownership and management, and the CLCDC looks forward to the benefits that this will bring to our community.

The reopening of the Blue Streak ride is another milestone in the revitalization project for Conneaut Lake Park. The ride has been restored to the condition that it was in when it closed as an amusement park in 2006. The reopening of this attraction and the other rides and attractions will demonstrate that the borough is continuing to move ahead with its plans to revitalize the Water Street business district as well as Fireman’s Beach (please refer to Meadville Tribune articles in Media Coverage section on this website).

A $500,000 federal Economic Development Administration grant has been awarded to Conneaut Lake Borough to support improvements to public infrastructure to leverage private investment and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth. The grant is one of 66 nationally selected in this year’s EDA’s “Our Town” competition.

The new owner of the historic Barbara J sternwheeler, Barbara J Cruises, LLC, has been granted a permit by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources to begin construction work on a non-motorized boat docking facility at the north end of the lake. The borough is also working on plans for the reopening of the Ice House Park and for additional improvements to the area surrounding Fireman’s Beach.

Earlier this week, the Borough Council and CLCDC members met with the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Cindy Adams Dunn, to provide an update on the progress of the Water Street/Fireman’s Beach revitalization project. The Secretary oversees funding sources for the projects and is a key decision maker regarding project grant applications.

Construction on the Water Street portion of the downtown revitalization project has begun, and work at Fireman’s Beach is expected to begin soon. The reopening of both areas is targeted for the Memorial Day weekend of 2018.

A bid package for Water Street has been sent out and another for Fireman’s Beach is soon to be prepared. The Borough and CLCDC are preparing grant applications for both the Water Street/Fireman’s beach construction and the further development of the Ice House Park site.

The reopening of the Barbara J is yet another milestone in the continued efforts to revitalize Conneaut Lake. The CLCDC hopes to continue this momentum by introducing other activities to the lake, such as fishing and picnicking. Plans are also underway to create an arts trail along Water Street and Fireman’s Beach. A sculpture commissioned with the help of a $75,000 grant from the National Endowments of the Arts, received by the CLCDC two years ago, will be installed at the beginning of the trail. conneaut lake concerts

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