Trumbull County MetroParks is applying for a grant that would allow it to buy Coalburg Lake, which straddles Brookfield and Hubbard townships, and open it for recreation, said Operations Director Zachary Svette.
Brookfield trustees endorsed the plan Dec. 20, following Hubbard Township trustees’ approval earlier.
The man-made lake was created by the construction of a dam on Little Yankee Run in 1916, according to an Ohio Department of Natural Resource’s inventory of Ohio lakes, which is posted on the ODNR web site.
The 356-acre property, of which 80 acres are underwater, was once owned by the former Youngstown Sheet and Tube as a recreational lake for its employees, Svette said. Coalburg Land Partners LLC of Humble, Texas, bought the lake in 2006 from Standard Energy, according to the Trumbull County Auditor’s web site.
“This is going to allow us to get out to the east side of Trumbull County,” Svette said of MetroParks’ holdings, which include the 16.7-mile Western Reserve Greenway between Bloomfield and Warren and the 23-mile Mahoning River Water Trail that runs from Newton to Warren.
Wick Campbell Road runs up the west side of Coalburg Lake, with Collar Price Road to the east.
The Trust for Public Land brought the lake to the attention of MetroParks officials and is helping MetroParks prepare the application, Zvette said. The application will go to the state Clean Ohio Conservation Fund, asking for $2 million, he said.
The application is due Jan. 11.
“We should know by March if we’re getting approved for funding or not,” Svette said.
Svette said he did not know the quality of the water, the condition of the dam or whether there are any fish in the lake, all factors that will need to be examined.
There are significant wetlands around the lake, he said.
If MetroParks is able to buy the property, officials will assess whether any improvements will need to be made for public access. Svette said he believes it would not take much for what he called “primitive access,” and there are signs that people have been using land off Wick Campbell, just north of Hubbard Conservation Club, as a boat launch.
It’s possible MetroParks could seek additional grant funding for improvements, he said.
There are private docks on the lake, which Svette said probably are possible through easements with the property owner.