Conneaut seeks to acquire wetlands

Land north of the railroad tracks on the west side of Thompson Road in Conneaut is being considered for a new park.

CONNEAUT — City Council passed a number of resolutions at a meeting on Tuesday night aimed at acquiring wetlands property from the Western Reserve Land Conservancy.

There were five resolutions directly related to the wetlands purchase. The city started the process at the end of 2019, after meeting with the Western Reserve Land Conservancy.

The section of land is between Thompson and Woodworth roads, between the CSX and Norfolk Southern railroad tracks. The parcel is 122 acres, according to the city. It is adjacent to the Turkey Creek Metropark.

Western Reserve Land Conservancy Vice President of Eastern Field Operations Brett Rodstrom joined the meeting via video conference, and spoke with council about the project.

The Western Reserve Land Conservancy assisted the city in applying for grants to pay for the property, said City Manager Jim Hockaday.

“We have successfully achieved funding for the entire project,” Rodstrom said.

One ordinance authorized the city manager to accept an Ohio Public Works Commission grant to pay for the property. A second ordinance allowed the city manager to sign a grant-restriction agreement with the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, which also provided grant funds for the purchase.

There were also three financial ordinances. One created a fund for the OPWC grant, and another that made a fund for the NAWCA grant. The third appropriated money to the newly created funds.

The city will be able to seek out more Clean Ohio grant funding for parking areas or trails in the future.

In other business

• The city granted itself an easement for a paving project coming up next year.

A section of Route 20 is scheduled to be repaved starting at Parrish Road and going west. The city has been working with the Ohio Department of Transportation on steps that need to be taken before work can start.

One of those steps was taken on Tuesday night, with the city granting itself an easement for the construction of stormwater drainage infrastructure.

The easement was required for a small section of property between a cemetery and car wash on the south side of Route 20.

“We are essentially granting an easement from the city to the city, transferring it from just generic, publicly owned property to dedicated right-of-way for a state route,” Hockaday said.

• Council President Jon Arcaro moved to donate $1,500 for a script sign that the Conneaut Convention and Visitors Bureau has been discussing. The sign would be similar to the Cleveland script signs. The CCVB is currently discussing locations to place the sign, Arcaro said.

The motion passed unanimously.

Ashtabula and Geneva-on-the-Lake have similar signs in place.

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