Lake Erie Cabins No Done Deal
Ohio state agencies will have a big say in whether tourist cabins sprout up along Lake Erie’s Conneaut Harbor in northeastern Ohio, Port Authority members said this week.
The port panel had planned to convene a special meeting to discuss short- and long-term projects, according to the Ashtabula Star-Beacon, but the meeting was canceled for lack of a quorum. Instead, members in attendance took questions from the audience regarding the authority’s interest in the cabins.
Denver Spieldenner, Port Authority chairman, said there are no definite plans to proceed with plans to erect cabins and create a campground in the southwest corner of the harbor.
“It’s in the talking stages,” he said. “We’re discussing it.”
There are some sizable hurdles ahead of such a project, Spieldenner said. First, regulatory agencies – such as the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Army Corps of Engineers – will determine if cabins and camp sites are permitted at that location and whether enough publicly owned land is available for such a project.
Also, municipal water and sewer lines from the city of Conneaut may need to be stretched to the site at a cost beyond the reach of the authority. The city is exploring grants to help provide infrastructure for the project.
If state and federal agencies have no objections, the port authority will look at cost and revenue projections associated with the project, Spieldenner said.
Some people are wary of the cabin/campground project, believing the Port Authority would be competing with private campgrounds and lodging for customers. Spieldenner said he didn’t see a problem.
Cabin clientele would probably be fishermen who want to stay a few steps from their boats, Spieldenner said. “I don’t think there would be much competition,” he said.
There’s also a concern the cabins and campsites would gobble up acreage in a spot where parking space for boat trailers is at a premium.