YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — City Council will consider whether to apply for grant funds from the U.S. Department of Commerce to redevelop Lake McKelvey for recreational and economic development, as well as for use by law enforcement and law enforcement. city fire.
The order before Council at Wednesday’s meeting would authorize the City’s Board of Control to seek up to $10 million in competitive grants.
The funds are being made available to “help communities and regions design and implement sustainable economic recovery strategies through a variety of projects to respond to the damage done to outdoor recreation sectors by the coronavirus pandemic. and to promote the economic resilience of regions dependent on these industries”. according to the order.
“We’ve always been in the planning stage for the use of this place,” said Dawn Turnage, director of parks and recreation.
In December 2020, a subsidiary of Aqua Ohio sold the lake to Western Reserve Land Conservancywhich then transferred ownership to the city.
The deal included the 126-acre lake, surrounding easements and damming the lake once necessary repairs are completed, Aqua spokesman Jeff LaRue reported.
“Basically we are rehabilitating the spillway and bringing it up to modern standards,” he said. In the nearly 100 years since the construction of the dam, weir and lake, expectations about the intensity of rainfall the dam should be able to withstand have increased.
Funds would be focused on the Lake McKelvey area to reallocate it to recreation and economic development, Turnage said. There is also enough land available that some can be used by the city’s police and fire departments for training.
The city plans to apply for the full $10 million available “and see where that takes us,” she said. The grant would require the city to provide a 20% match, but this requirement could potentially be met by providing in-kind services rather than cash. Additionally, the requirement could be adjusted depending on the size of the population and the economic conditions of the city.
The lake was previously used to supply industrial sites in Youngstown and later as a backup water source for the Town of Campbell’s water treatment plant.
The city is in the early stages of site planning, Turnage said. The city still does not have full access to the property as Aqua must complete repairs to the dam, which was built in 1926.
Aqua’s contractor, Great Lakes Construction, is ready to step up in late February or March when the weather breaks, LaRue said Monday. The end of the work is scheduled for the winter.
“We originally thought construction would be finished last month, but clearance took longer than expected,” LaRue said. There were unforeseen milestones such as the State Historic Preservation Office wanting photographic documentation of the lake and dam, and the COVID-19 pandemic “caused everything to go slower than we would have liked. “.
Now Aqua has the necessary permits and, despite the delays, the agreement with Youngstown remains intact and the company is keeping city officials updated on the progress of the work, he said.
Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.