By SHELLEY TERRY - firstname.lastname@example.org
They are working on the restrooms at the Walnut Beach concession stand in preparation for the summer season, but the city still is looking for a concessionaire, City Manager Jim Timonere said.
Workers with Feghali Brothers Construction of Canfield began renovating the building last week after City Council awarded the company a $122,500 contract for engineering and renovation services. Feghali Brothers was the low bidder, Timonere said.
Come June, when the project is completed, the building will have new plumbing fixtures, including sinks and toilets, new partitions, paint, time-lock doors, wheelchair ramps, lighting fixtures, and a shower faucet outside of the building, said Mary Church, project administrator.
The time-lock door system will allow the restrooms to be open even when the concession stand is closed, such as during bocci tournaments or Big Bands on the Beach, Timonere said.
“But we would love to have (a concessionaire) down there,” Timonere said. “Anyone interested can contact me.”
The city plans to put a port-a-potty up (temporarily) for the Memorial Day weekend because the restrooms are not expected to be done by then, Timonere said.
Church was instrumental in getting the $125,000 from the revolving loan fund to the community development block grant fund for the project, Timonere said.
In addition to the concession stand, the beach offers visitors picnic tables, a walkway to the beach, a playground, a skate park and a variety of natural plants, trees and flowers.
Lifeguards will be provided through the Ashtabula County YMCA, starting Memorial Day weekend. Buoys mark off a safe swimming area, as well.
The beach is within walking distance of the Hubbard House, the Maritime and Surface Transportation Museum, the Finnish Cultural Center and several shops and restaurants along historic Bridge Street.