Farnham Park, a south Conneaut facility shut down years ago because of vandalism and other problems, could be reopened under a plan to encourage use of Conneaut Creek, officials said.
Members of a new grant-writing committee met with Township Park commissioners Wednesday to gauge interest in an idea that would restore some access to the park, said Gary Coxon, the park board chairman. The idea is to provide extra access to the creek for outdoorsmen. Farnham Park is owned by the Township Park commission.
The grant committee is interested in pursuing funds to rehabilitate the old park enough to accommodate visitors. It would not necessarily restore the park to its former glory, which at one time included restrooms, picnic area and a ball field. All that is gone, buried beneath vegetation.
The city apparently requires some ownership interest in the long-closed park to pursue funding, Coxon said.
Commissioners are intrigued by the idea, but want additional information before giving an answer, Coxon said. A response could come within the next few weeks, he said.
“We may have to work out some logistics,” Coxon said.
City Manager Tim Eggleston, who created the grant committee and was among the members who met with park officials, could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday afternoon.
In its heyday, the park was a popular creek-side spot that served Conneaut’s Farnham neighborhood in the area of Center and South Ridge roads near the Monroe Township line. Its isolated location, initially a selling point, eventually contributed to its decline. Vandalism was a recurring problem and the park also attracted other criminal activity, police said.
Weary of the hassles, park commissioners ultimately closed the park about 20 years ago and blocked the access drive with mounds of dirt.
Commissioners want assurances the park — even if it’s reopened to serve as a parking lot — won’t become a maintenance and liability headache.
“We’ve got to work it around and determine what’s in the best interests of the community,” Coxon said. “But (the idea) hasn’t fallen on deaf ears.”