ASHTABULA — The Civic Development Corporation is nearing its fundraising goal for 2020, with hopes of funding a number of projects throughout the county.

The CDC is seeking $1.7 million in funds to contribute to 15 projects throughout Ashtabula County. 

“We’re doing fairly well, despite what’s going on,” said Amanda Tirotta, executive director of CDC. The group has raised 76 percent of its fundraising goal, she said.

CDC holds fundraising drives every five years. In 2020, the group has a list of projects from across Ashtabula County that it will seek to help.

“The public portion of the campaign really kicked off in 2020, but a lot of the work had been done in 2018 and 2019, leading up to the campaign,” Tirotta said.

The largest donation would go to the Ashtabula County Metroparks for work on the Pymatuning Valley Greenway Trail. The project would receive $250,000 from the CDC, according to the CDC’s website.

The CDC has worked with the Metroparks in the past, fundraising for the North Shore and Western Reserve trails, Tirotta said.

Lakeshore Park in Ashtabula, and Conneaut Township Park in Conneaut are both slated to receive funding as well. Lakeshore Park would receive $135,000 for work on the upper pond. The work would include dredging, constructing a retaining wall and placing a bridge across the pond, according to the CDC website.

Conneaut Township Park is expecting $75,000 for a new bathhouse and concession building, according to the CDC website. Voters approved a 1-mill permanent improvement levy last November. After the election, park officials said a new bathhouse and concession building would be a priority.

A number of smaller projects will also be funded by the CDC’s 2020 campaign, including $17,000 for the village of Geneva-on-the-Lake. The money will go to the city’s Recreation Park, located next to the village Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Village Administrator Jeremy Schaffer.

The village has requested a grant from the state for new swing sets, upgrades to the park and also do a complete park plan. The CDC funds would cover a significant amount of the matching funds required for the grant. Due to COVID-19, the grant from the state has been pushed bac. Schaffer said the funds from the CDC can still be put to use.

The CDC has been a supporter of the village in the past.

“They’ve been great,” Schaffer said. “The CDC has assisted the village several times.”

Area foundations, corporations, individuals, and employee campaigns contribute to the CDC’s fundraisers, Tirotta said.

Once the CDC can guarantee that it will reach its goal, funds will start being distributed, Tirotta said.

Donations can be made via the CDC’s website at civicdevelopmentcorp.org.

“We all benefit from these projects,” Tirotta said. “They’re things that we can see, touch, feel with ourselves, our families, our friends.”

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