Trib Live: By Karl Polacek

The boat ramp at Yough River Park in Connellsville will be repaired.
On Thursday, Connellsville City and Fayette County officials received $15,000 from the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau for the project.
The money will be used as a match for a grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development.
High water during the last winter season is blamed for gouging the beach beyond the end of the concrete ramp, making it difficult to launch boats. The ramp is used by local recreationalists as well as New Haven Hose Co. with its river rescue boat.
Renee Seifert, president of the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau, made the presentation. She said the funds were made available as the result of the hotel tax collected in Fayette County.
Seifert, who has been on the job for just a few months, said the funds were released by the county government. She said the project will enhance visitors' experiences up and down the Youghiogheny River from Connellsville.
“It's a safety factor as well as for visitors,” said Seifert.
The funds from the county hotel tax are necessary before funds can be received from DCED.
“Technically, we don't have approval yet,” said Geno Gallo, a member of the Connellsville Redevelopment Authority.
Gallo, Seifert, Fayette County Commissioner Al Ambrosini, and city Councilmen Gregory Ritch, Tom Karpiak and Brad Geyer stood with the bad section of the ramp behind them as they received the check from Seifert.
While there is a holdup in receiving the DCED grant because of the lack of a budget, Ritch said work on the ramp must wait until warmer weather next spring.

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