CONNEAUT LAKE – Bob Moss, a member of the Conneaut Lake Community Development Committee, provided an update at Wednesday’s Borough Council meeting regarding a proposed municipal parking lot on Strawberry Alley at the back of the businesses on the south side of the Water Street.
Moss said all proposed landowners for the parking lots were interviewed and the discussion with each was based on a standard list of landdonor discussion topics applicable to each.
“I am happy to report that there is genuine interest in this idea,” he said, adding that everyone was in agreement on the following issues:
• Parking is required in the downtown business district.
• A right of way will be required for access to public services.
• The borough should plan for the required storm water drainage.
• The borough should provide a limited number of parking spaces reserved for employees.
• The design of the parking lot should allow for easy snow removal.
• The borough should allow directional signage for neighboring businesses.
• The borough must determine all zoning, subdivision and/or privilege issues.
• The borough should allow open lanes for business deliveries.
• Annual maintenance costs must be taken into account.
• Sidewalks will be required for pedestrian safety and access to Water Street.
He said other donor-specific issues remained to be resolved.
“However, we believe we are ready to move into preparing pre-development land donor agreements while addressing donor-specific issues. Our goal is to ‘lock in’ land pledged for control of the district, while offering donors the satisfaction of assurances such as those discussed.
“This phase of the study will require expenditures of resources, for example, researching title deeds and liens, zoning requirements, property assessment and tax issues, and engineering design considerations. We are at a point where we want to request cost sharing with the borough to complete the study. As a simple suggestion, we think it would be possible for the borough to allow its attorney, Mat Jorden, to assist with legal research and drafting of legal documents necessary for property donations and subdivisions. In return, the CLCDC will commit its resources to other expenditure items, as discussed. Or alternatively, a straight 50/50 expense split could also work.
A lengthy discussion ensued with several board members reluctant to approve the funding. Members asked many questions to find out if the owners had accepted the plan. Moss said he didn’t want funding to restrict the project and, if necessary, would pay the scheduled $2,500 for legal fees himself.
Councilman Mario DeBlasio said he trusted Moss and knew he would be thrifty spending funds on the project.
The final decision after much discussion was that the board gave CLCDC approval to hire and pay Jorden $2,500 in legal fees.
Councilor Bill Eldridge, who is president of the CLCDC, pointed out that the CLCDC does not need council approval for Jorden to do legal work and can hire anyone.
The board also voted that after the initial $2,500, it would cost-share with CLCDC for the project.