The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

May 26, 2013

Area residents celebrate Ashtabula Harbor blessings

By WARREN DILLAWAY - warren@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

ASHTABULA — Participants in a Blessing of the Bridge ceremony were asked to improve the lives of future generations as they stood just outside of the shadow of the Ashtabula Lift Bridge.

“I’m not building it for myself. I’m building it for those who come after,” said the Rev. Glen Warner about a man who chose to build a bridge at an elderly age.

Warner shared poetry and scripture to declare the importance of thinking of community above self.

“We have many bridges to cross,” Warner said of the challenges facing our community.

He also thanked those who have given of their time, talents and business skills to revitalize Ashtabula Harbor.

“Father God we thank you for community and the beautiful place where we live,” he said.

The event was sponsored by the Lift Bridge Community Association under the direction of chairman Shelly Mullen.

In addition to the blessing ceremony, participants celebrated the unveiling of four new bike racks, two near the intersection of Bridge Street and Goodwill Drive and two near the intersection of Bridge Street and Hulbert Avenue.

Mullen said the bike racks and nine new directional signs leading people to Ashtabula Harbor, were purchased by the Civid Development Corporation.

She said there are exciting new developments on the horizon for Ashtabula Harbor including The Arts on Bridge Street scheduled for July 27.

A cooperative venture between the association and city leaders could also lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants coming to Ashtabula Harbor, Mullen said.

She said a grand total of $689,000 in downtown revitalization, formula and critical infrastructure grants will be applied for at the state level — with grants awarded in September.

The money would be used to re-brick Hulbert Avenue, create a new municipal parking lot on the western edge of the business district on the south side of Bridge Street and facade work to some of the buildings, Mullen said.

Mullen said a lot of the pre-application work has been completed so the chance of getting the grants is good.