Timeline of News & Events Regarding Water Works Park

August,  2017 – The city of Port Clinton has been awarded a $1.9 million grant for a planned river walkway along the Portage River.  Improvements to funded with the grant from the Ohio Department Natural Resources include a marina and approximately 2,500 feet of walkway to be added, including a 10- to 12-foot-wide concrete path starting at East Perry Street around Derby Pond, a 10-foot path starting just east of Jefferson Street, and a 4- to 6-foot walk along the eastern edge of Monroe Street, linking up with the existing new sidewalk along Lakeshore Drive.

July, 2017 – Handicap parking and shoreline cleanup at Waterworks Park.

July 27, 2017 –  Port Clinton city officials have pushed in recent months to improve the look of its waterfront amenities.

WWP areas of concern aerial view.

March 23, 2017 –  An expert met with Port Clinton City Council this week to discuss the need to clean up several polluted areas, including near the playground and baseball dugout.  Approximately 80 tons of contaminated soil will be removed from areas #2 and #5 at Water Works Park for a cost of $22,000.    With the recreational standards established, the study found one area of the park where concentrations of benzo(a)pyrene were too high — 7.22 milligrams per kilogram, almost double the recreational standard of 3.62 mg — on the south end of the gravel parking lot.

January 28, 2017 – City officials plan to move forward this year with the cleanup of areas at Waterworks Park that were found to contain carcinogenic substances after an extensive a soil study.

September 2016 –  We can see the lighthouse, what happens next?  Dedication September 26. 

September 7, 2016 –  The Waterfront Walkway met to review Poggemeyer Design Group’s latest changes from previous proposals.  The location of the east-west portion of the walk has been changed from right along the river bank to the Perry Street sidewalk.  Fifty transient boat slips with electric and water hookups are proposed.  Fishing would be limited to the jetty only. The proposed docks, walkway and sheet piling wall are expected to extend about 5 feet into the existing parking lot.  A new ADA compatible restroom facility is proposed just southwest of the county’s water intake pump house. 

August 16, 2016 –  Moving Experience in Port Clinton, Ohio.  1896 Lighthouse returns to its place on Lake Erie.   A dedication ceremony is scheduled for September.  Many thanks go to the members of the Conservancy for their years of dedication and hard work.  Thank You!!! 

1st Day Port Clinton Lighthouse

1st Day Port Clinton Lighthouse

August 2016 –  The Lighthouse Conservancy launches a Charter Membership Campaign.  More information on becoming a charter member can be found on their new website as well as historical and restoration information. 

July 27, 2016 –  City officials want to get the ball rolling on a $1.2 million project to wipe out phragmites — an invasive species of tall reeds — and restore several acres of native wetlands by a popular walking area near Lake Erie.  Port Clinton City Council on Tuesday approved a $352,325 grant application to the Ohio Environmental Protection.

July 4, 2016 –   C.O.R.D. has placed and maintains a planter in Water Works Park at the east pier of the Portage River.  CORD PLANTER 

April 20, 2016 –   Companies owned by Medina-based developer Washington Properties [Harbor Front, LLC], Mike Rose recently filed for bankruptcy,  according to documents filed in Medina County Common Pleas Court. 

April 14, 2016 –   The historic Port Clinton Lighthouse returns to the waterfront!  Years of back-and-forth negotiation between the Port Clinton Lighthouse Conservancy and the city are over and the Lighthouse will be placed at Waterworks Park.  It is likely that work will begin on the lighthouse foundation within the next 30 days.

March 31, 2016 –   A shutdown of city offices were averted when Mayor Hugh Wheeler signed the 2016 budget.  City operations could have halted on Friday when Mayor Wheeler threatened to not sign the budget.  Wheeler said a majority of city council is intentionally undermining progress for Port Clinton at a press conference.   

March 22, 2016 –   City Councilmen hijack $20,000 from the city budget for a new city employee for economic development consultant/director/studier.  It’s a little vague; Councilman Below was not specific about the position and provided non-responsive answers to other city officials who asked for details.  Council voted to divert the monies from a new position the administration created to provide a Parks and Recreation Program and Director for our community.    

March 15, 2016 – Election Day – Vote too close to call Tuesday night, according to unofficial results. Provisional ballots must be approved and counted by the Ottawa County Board of Elections. Public waits for Waterworks Park results.  

March 9, 2016 –   The Ottawa County/Sandusky Register Editorial Board endorses a NO vote on Issue #1.    “It seems obvious at this point that city voters should just say “No” to Issue 1”.

March 8, 2016 –   A second bank, Fifth Third, has filed against the potential WATER WORKS PARK developer for a $1.4 million default judgment.  This brings the total of 3 default judgments to 15 million dollars.

March 5, 2016 –  C.O.R.D. makes public the $6,000,000 infrastructure costs associated with the Harbor Front, LLC development.

February 25, 2016 –  Port Clinton’s Mayor Wheeler weighs in on Waterworks Park.  It’s not clear why city council is sticking with Rose given his current financial issues.  Officials can’t break ground on park development without voter approval.  Voters passed Issue 6 in November of 2014, which calls for a public vote at a general election before the city can sell or lease parkland.

January 29, 2016 –  Developer Michael R. Rose, whose proposal for Waterworks Park is the subject of a ballot issue in the March primary, owes more than $13 million to a Medina bank after being hit with judgments in two court cases involving defaulted loans.

January 26, 2016 –  Port Clinton City Council meeting, new Councilman-at-large Joel Freedman made a motion to rescind the ballot advisory question.  Mr. Freedman explained “It should say exactly where there will be development and it only deals with Harbor Front LLC.”  Freedman also named a long list of LLCs associated with Mike Rose that are now tax delinquent or in tax default status on the Medina County Auditor’s website.  Mr. Freedman then reminded council members of the 2010, 3.1 million dollar loan default in Wooster.  City council shot down the motion in a 5-1 vote.                                                                  

A soil clean up operation. Thousands of plastic bags.

A soil clean up operation. Thousands of plastic bags.

January 2016 –  CORD files Freedom of Information requests with city for Water Works Park expenditures.  City spends an additional $42,270 dollars on Water Works Park development plans before new administration takes office.  Just one week after losing his bid for re-election former Mayor Vince Leone spends $4270 for an engineering survey, $20,000 for additional soil testing and $18,000 for the Voluntary Action Plan (VAP) Application. 

January 14, 2016 –  Sen. Rick Santorum calls out Port Clinton during GOP debate.

January 12, 2016 –  The Ottawa County Board of Elections is now going to allow the late and untimely city Advisory Question to go onto the March 15th ballot.  The city will ask for a lease negotiation with Harbor Front, LLC (Mr. Mike Rose).  City council affirms the advisory question with a 5/1 vote.

November 3rd, 2015  –  Port Clinton residents vote for new directions!  In a major upset, Hugh Wheeler, Jr. soundly defeated incumbent mayor Vince Leone in a landslide victory to become Port Clinton’s new mayor.  What does that mean for Waterworks Park?  Mayor-Elect Wheeler’s campaign statement:  “Water Works Park is not for us to decide. It’s not up to the mayor.  It’s up to the people.  We work for the people.  Whatever the people want, if we can get it to the council and the people approve it we can move forward.  There does need to be a development of some sort.  I would rather it be public use than condos or commercial.”

September 22, 2015  –  Finally, after waiting 18 months!  Ann Winegar, Project Geologist in Environmental Services, at SME presented the environmental study of Waterworks Park.  There were 52 soil samples, 9 temporary groundwater samples, six soil gas samples and five groundwater monitoring wells.  “In the human health risk assessment it was found that there is a potential cancer risk for a residential area and there are chemicals of concern,” said Winegar.

August 26, 2015 –  Trish McCartney was chosen by the Republican Central Committee to finish out former councilman Mike Snider’s term on the city council. The term is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2015.  DeAnna D. Kuzma has listed herself as a write-in candidate for the position of Council President and Joel Freedman has entered his name as a write-in candidate for Council, according to the Ottawa County Board of Elections.

August 11, 2015 –  Port Clinton councilman Mike Snider announced his resignation from city council Tuesday and has removed himself from the November ballot.  The Republican party will appoint someone to finish the at large term and will appoint someone for the ballot.  Candidates that would like to run for president of council can file as a write-in candidate until Aug. 24. 

August 5, 2015 –  City missed the deadline for filing according to Carol Ann Hill at the Ottawa County Board of Elections, which would have put the issue on the general election ballot this November.  “To the best of my knowledge, that was a hard deadline,” Hill said. “I know of no law that determines that a late filing could be put on the ballot.”  

July 30, 2015 –  Voters to decide if city can negotiate with private contractor.  Thanks to Issue-6 the ballot issue will ask for voters’ permission for the city to begin negotiations to lease a portion of Water Works Park.   Medina-based developer Washington Properties[Harbor Front, LLC] wishes to lease park property for a conference center, lodge, retail and office space and condominiums.

July 14, 2015 –  City Council wishes to place on the November 3rd , 2015, General Election ballot the question to the voters of the city of Port Clinton to allow negotiations with Harborfront, LLC for the purpose of leasing an area of waterfront property within the City of Port Clinton.  A generic question will be provided to the citizens to vote on in November as required by Issue-6.  Citizens will be asked to vote without information or details.    

July 9, 2015 –  The Lighthouse Conservancy makes a pubic appeal to citizens.  “It takes you, the citizens of Port Clinton to demand that your City Council eliminate the termination provisions of the lease offered to The Lighthouse Conservancy so the lighthouse will remain permanently where it belongs.”  Please call or e-mail city council members.   Beth Gillman, Gabe Below, Jerry Triolli, Lisa Sarty, Margaret Phillips, Mike Snider, Nicole DeFritas     

June 23, 2015 –  Conservancy OPTS OUT.  The Lighthouse Conservancy feels that the agreement in its present form lacks the degree of permanency required for an historic structure.    The “termination without cause” clause has not been removed by the city.   While the city has signed leases, they have never signed a lease for a historic structure and the structure cannot be landmarked by the State of Ohio until it is in position.  Port Clinton has no local landmark designation program which recognizes properties of historical, architectural and geographical importance to the City and County.    

June 4, 2015 –  Mayor Vince Leone refuses to move forward with a plan to locate [Lighthouse] at Water Works Park.   Many residents concerned about Historic Port Clinton Lighthouse’s future.   Mayor Leone can’t find voice.   Letter from Lighthouse Conservancy.   Lighthouse contract woes continue City, Conservancy fail to see eye to eye.


 April 30, 2015 –  Lake Erie Living magazine, “In The Weeds”. Thanks to this author we discovered that Port Clinton started “spraying glyphosate in the spring and will continue follow-up applications throughout the growing season”, to control the invasive phragmites in the Port Clinton Preserve.  In March of this year the World Health Organization classified the herbicide glyphosate as probably carcinogenic to humans and the Canadian government will require “precautionary statements to reduce the potential for run-off of glyphosate into aquatic habitats”.  

April 2, 2015 –  SaveWaterWorksPark.org adds new tab with TOXIC INFO to the menu. 

January 19, 2015 –  SaveWaterWorksPark.org adds new tab with public documents to the menu.  We will be keeping an eye on the negotiations, environmentals and public spending. 

January 5, 2015 –  Toledo Blade, by Vanessa McCray – … C.O.R.D. will monitor negotiations between the city and developer, keeping an eye on the environmental reports related to the site and spending of public money. 

November 7, 2014 –  Spotlight on Port Clinton and the new Park Protection Ordinance.  News story on the passage of Issue 6 by Port Clinton residents has been published in the Columbus Dispatch.  The news story has also gained the attention of the American Planning Association.     

November 4, 2014 Election Day – Port Clinton residents want a voice in the future of our parks, open spaces and precious shoreline.  Passage of Issue 6 raises the threshold for sales of city parkland property.  The new ordinance will require at least five city councilmen to approve a sale of any of the protected properties, and it will trigger a citywide vote to ratify any such sale decision passed by city council.  The people will decide.

October 26, 2014 –  Toledo Blade’s Vanessa McCray presents the most fair and balanced article available regarding Port Clinton’s ISSUE 6, the Park Protection Ordinance to be voted upon November 4th.  This may be a once in a life time vote. 

October 25, 2014 –  Pre-election coverage of Issue 6, 10 days until voting day.  Are you confused about Issue 6?  Go to the “Citizens Initiative” page or go to CORD TV.

October 14, 2014 – Members of the Lighthouse Conservancy take aim at Mayor Leone at Tuesday’s city council meeting and an open letter.  “Given that there is no credible reason for the mayor not to sign the lease, it’s time for the mayor to be honest about why he hasn’t signed it. His refusal begs the obvious question: Does it have anything to do with negotiations currently underway with Washington Properties?”

October 8, 2014 –  Mayor Leone and C.O.R.D. spokesman Rick Noderer talk about Issue 6 with Channel 13 reporter Tony Geftos. 

October 7, 2014 – Port Clinton Planning and Development Committee meeting.  Adrienne Hines, Ottawa County Democratic chairman said the issue was unique in that it was not a party-specific issue. There are members of opposing political parties on both sides.  “We believe in the democratic process,” Hines said, who did not endorse either the “yes” or “no”.  State Rep. Chris Redfern, D-Catawba Island, was the final speaker for the evening and said he and State Senator Randy Gardner have agreed to support whatever decision the residents make.

October 2, 2014 – CORD presentation at Candidates Night on ISSUE 6: “Our local parks are at risk. Ohio ranks 47th per capita in the amount of public land available for outdoor recreation.”  “Decades of unrestricted development have left the Buckeye State little space for woods, open fields, and most importantly: the shoreline of our great Lake Erie.”  “When ‘Issue 6′ passes, it will be presented to state organizations committed to protecting public lands for passage at a statewide level. We have a historic opportunity to efficiently protect our natural heritage, and to ensure that the taxpayers’ lands remain protected.”

Read the presentation in its entirety under the “Citizens Initiative” tab.

September 25, 2014 – Port Clinton City Council’s Planning and Development committee will discuss the Issue #6 during their meeting 6 p.m. Oct. 7.   No official statement has been released regarding the city’s position on the initiative.

September 10, 2014 –  C.O.R.D. Press Release: Documents received by C.O.R.D. under the Ohio Sunshine Law confirm that Port Clinton event applications and park reservation forms are NOT leases.  A public retraction by the Mayor would be in order along with his assurance that passage of the ordinance would not affect the citizens’ use of the parks,” said spokesman Rick Noderer.

August 29, 2014 – The Port Clinton group Citizens for Organized Responsible Development, or CORD, is disturbed by an act of vandalism some members believe was deliberate.

August 27, 2014 – After reciting Ohio Revised Code 721 lease definitions to city council, Noderer questioned, “It seems to me you have a choice, is the citizens’ use of the land for events a lease or is it not?” Noderer asked the mayor. “If it isn’t, the proposed (C.O.R.D.) initiative will not affect the citizens’ use of the parks at all. What is it, mayor?”

August 22, 2014 – Noderer said “Those documents have always been called ‘reservations’ and ‘event requests,’ never leases. So it shouldn’t affect them.  … [We want] to give the residents a chance to vote before the land is sold, leased or transferred to a private developer for commercial purposes.” Noderer said both Michigan and Texas have state laws prohibiting the sale of park land without a vote of the people.

August 18, 2014 – Ottawa County Board of Elections directors OK’d the “Protect Our Parks” Ordinance on the Nov. 4 ballot.

August 14, 2014 – Mayor Leone states in a public meeting that “Event Requests” and “Reservation Forms” are leases. 

 August 7, 2014 –  On National Lighthouse Day, August 7, the Port Clinton Lighthouse Conservancy was happy to announce the Port Clinton Lighthouse has completed its restoration and is ready to be moved to its permanent location in Waterworks Park.  

July 2, 2014 –  The editorial staff of the Sandusky Register backs C.O.R.D.’s public initiative for citizen’s right to vote on sale or lease of public parks.  Page 1 and   Page 2 can be read here. 

June 24, 2014 –   Channel 13 video with Diane Larson and Vanessa McCray. Port Clinton briefing.

June 24, 2014 –  Port Clinton group submits petitions opposing development at a city park, by Vanessa McCray, Toledo Blade.  A Port Clinton group opposed to major development at a city park bordering Lake Erie and the Portage River submitted petitions today to put a measure on the November ballot that seeks to require a public vote before the city can sell or lease park property. 

June 7, 2014 –  Port Clinton News Herald article: C.O.R.D. seeks city ordinance for November ballot.  Group wants to put an issue on the November ballot that would have residents decide whether the city could sell or lease its parks.  “Ultimately, the people will decide,” President of Council, Linda Hartlaub said. “We’ll see how they feel.”

May 20, 2014 – James Proffitt article questions Mr. Rose further on the loan default at his Liberty Center development in Wooster, Ohio.  Water Works Park Developer Defends Plans While CORD Attacks  is posted online at WildLakeErie.com

 May 19, 2014 – Toledo Blade article: PORT CLINTON LOOKS TO TRANSFORM PARK, BY Vanessa McCray.  Provides information from all sides Mayor Leone, Mr. Rose and CORD members.  This is the first news article questioning Washington Properties and Mr. Rose’s loan default.  This is also the first public comment made by Mayor Leone that he would be willing to negotiate the price of Water Works Park [appraised value of $7,255,000 done in 2013] in order to come up with the $6 million dollars for infrastructure upgrades for the development.

March 11, 2014 – Ron Aukerman, Jerry Tarolli, Margaret Phillips, Nicole DeFreitas, Lisa Sarty and Mike Snider all voted yes to the motion of moving forward in negotiations with Washington Properties. The motion was presented after the council and residents in the council chamber listened to the economic impact study that was given by Jamie Beier-Grant, Director of the Ottawa County Improvement Corporation and Hans Rosebrock, Manager, Economic Development and External Affairs of First Energy.  Supposedly, according to the IMPLAN software used there would be 585 new jobs with an average $18,803 income created. Also, according to IMPLAN there would be $6,135,638 property tax, $679,137 sales tax, $699,341 income tax and $141,181 in new bed taxes.
Resident question: Would a different location of the development change the  numbers? Beier-Grant and Rosebrock: No. As long as the development is within the city limits, the numbers would be very similar.
Resident question: Will the occupancy of the new housing affect the numbers?
Beier-Grant and Rosebrock: We used a 65-75% occupancy rate as the average to balance out the higher numbers in the summer and the lower numbers in the winter. With the addition of the convention center, it could attract more occupancy year round.
Resident question: With the impact, what’s the cost?
Beier-Grant and Rosebrock: We were not asked to find those numbers

March 7, 2014 – Port Clinton City Council could vote Tuesday, March 11, 2014 on whether to go ahead with a proposal that would develop Water Works Park and renovate downtown.  Details of the impossibly optimistic economic study done by FirstEnergy will be presented at Tuesdays council meeting, 7:30pm, March 11 at City Hall.  Craig Trick an Amerhst, Ohio builder explained that the city would would need to take the lead on obtaining grants to help make improvements on the site.  Mr. Rose and Mr. Trick claim the investment would be 60 million dollars and Port Clinton would have to raise 6 million dollars for public improvements including a marina, boardwalk, walking paths, playground, streets and infrastructure.

2nd Rendering WashPropInc 3-6-2014

Comment by CORD:  According to the Clean Ohio website Projects with a committed end user ready to develop may receive up to $3,000,000 for environmental cleanup activities and infrastructure improvements. Cleanup applications are required to provide 25 percent of total projects as matching funds.

March 6, 2014 –  During a special meeting, representatives for real estate firm Washington Properties of Medina said the proposed WaterWorks Park and downtown development would be a $60 million investment in revitalizing the city and create 585 full-time jobs.  The city’s cost would be negotiated with Washington Properties, Mayor Vince Leone said. The firm has led downtown revitalization and development projects in Wooster, Medina and Orrville.  The impossibly optimistic economic study was completed by a representative of FirstEnergy.

Jan. 1, 2014 –  Proposed development at Water Works Park still delayed.  Developer and city officials are waiting for another EPA study to determine not only whether the soil has been contaminated, but also the composition of the soil and what sort of structure it could support.  EPA personnel will take samples from areas of the park sometime in January. In 2008 the Floyd Browne Group completed a Phase II Property Assessment which dedected  semi-VOCs at levels exceeding the Ohio VAP Generic Direct Contact Standards for Commercial and Industrial Use.  The 2008 study concluded that if significant grade changes or excavation activities below 2 feet were contemplated, then point of compliance issues must be reevaluated.

Jan. 1, 2014 –  Hopefully by May or June residents and visitors will be able to see the newly restored lighthouse just north of Derby Pond in Water Works Park.  The Port Clinton Lighthouse Conservancy said the group is spending a great deal of time not only restoring the lighthouse, but also dealing with DNR, Coastal Management and submerged land lease  paperwork necessary to place it just north of the Derby Pond.

Jan. 1, 2014 –  On schedule for 2015 at a cost of $25,000 is a path through the nature preserve between the park and City Beach.  The property which is protected by the Black Swamp Conservancy will have a path come across the ridge that goes through the wetlands, goes down to the beach and loops around.  Individuals can walk and enjoy the wetlands and lakefront, and hopefully in 2014 the Army Corps of Engineers will help revitalize the wetlands so we will see that whole area transformed.

Nov. 26, 2013 –  Mayor Vince Leone announced at city council meeting that the EPA Geotechnical Study is way behind schedule, it is now slated for January 7, 2014.

Nov. 12, 2013 –  According to former Judge Moon, title to Haines’ land, which now encompasses Water Works Park, was reserved by Haines himself.  “And you might wish to know that the present owner of the land is not the City of Port Clinton, but rather the heirs of Ezekiel Smith Haines,” Moon said.  Moon spoke against the destruction of the lakefront property, and lamented council’s race to develop.

Oct. 22, 2013 –  Councilwoman Benko made a motion “to limit the manner in which any transfer of Water Works Park property may occur to include only lease options”.  Hartlaub, who is on the city’s negotiation team along with Leone, Auditor Cole Hatfield, Law Director George Wilber and Special Projects Coordinator Walt Wehenkel, advised council to wait until Rose had a more defined proposal to present.

Nov. 10, 2013 –  The topic of proposed development at Water Works Park was a recurring theme at Thursday night’s Candidates and Issues Night at the Elks Lodge.  The event included Port Clinton candidates for four ward council seats and the auditor’s race.  All of the ward candidates were in agreement that Water Works Park should not be sold and all wished to have public access retained in city negotiations.

Sept. 17, 2013 – City officials heard advice on development from a retired Perrysburg city administrator.  John Alexander was chief of staff for Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner and chief of staff and legal counsel for the Lucas County Commissioners.  He was invited to a special meeting of the Port Clinton City Council Planning and Development Committee, he stated that a city should not sell land officials consider to be a valuable asset in the long term.

Sept. 10, 2013 –  Mayor Leone said P.C. is applying to the county for an EPA assessment grant for Water Works Park, through the Ottawa County Improvement Corporation.  Phase I and Phase II studies have already been done on the property, and the next one, if approved, would be for geotechnical issues.  “They will be doing borings a lot deeper,” they need that to find out if they can build there.  It will also provide information as to how high they can build,” Leone said.  He expects to hear within 30 days.

Aug. 8, 2013  Residents filled the Elks Lodge to see what developer Mike Rose of Washington Properties has planned for the park and the city’s downtown, “what we’re looking to do is try to develop a concept for the downtown revitalization that would be built around the strength of the city,” explains Rose.  A major part of the town’s strength is Waterworks park. It’s located along Lake Erie and a huge attraction for the town.

Aug. 8, 2013 –  Port Clinton City Council President Linda Hartlaub ran the special council meeting, attended by hundreds Thursday evening at the Elks lodge, in which Rose and Dave Krebbs of AODK Architects described a rough plan for the property.  When people raised their voices or interrupted speakers, Hartlaub pounded her gavel and called the meeting to order.  Port Clinton police and plain-clothed officers were stationed in the room.

Washington Properties, Inc Plan for P.C.Aug. 6, 2013 –  City officials are hoping for a peaceful public meeting Thursday night, when developer Mike Rose of Washington Properties will present his ideas for developing Water Works Park.  The issue has been a hot topic for several years, and the debate has become more heated since Rose expressed interest last February in developing the park, which has been appraised at $7.25 million.

July 31, 2013 –  A recent appraisal puts the value of Water Works Park at $7,225,000.   The 87-page appraisal of the 13.76 acres was done by Passabet Appraisal Service of Port Clinton, and was provided by the city as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request.

June 6, 2013 –  Ottawa County Historical Society members want to refurbish Water Works Park, just past the end of Fulton Street, stands a historical monument – a monument in disrepair.  A twin marker stands at the oposite end of Fulton Street on Sandusky Bay.  On Labor Day weekend, thousands of people are expected to be in the park to see two tall ships, watch historical re-enactors and take part in several other activities.

Feb. 26, 2013 – Area businesses, community leaders and tourism officials say they don’t see much of a downside in Washington Properties’ plans for Water Works Park at a Wednesday meeting where Washington representatives showcased plans for a world-class fishing lodge, amphitheater, conference center and shops and restaurants drew almost 200 people.

October 9, 2012Port Clinton City Council approved ordinance No. 32-12, with 4-3 vote, regarding the hiring of law firm to help find a developer for Water Works Park.  Mayor Vince Leone vetoed the ordinance, leaving the question of what is the next step for Waterworks Park.  According to Leone, there have been many plans and concepts for the waterfront over the years. Leone thinks that council needs to refocus on the issues of infrastructure and the branding and improving of downtown Port Clinton that are necessary to support any development at Waterworks Park.  Discussions on what to do about the waterfront have been going on for decades and that “no one in the government has the perfect solution, no magic pill.”

September 25, 2012 –  Port Clinton City Council passes Ordinance No. 32-12 unanamously for a scope of service agreement with law firm of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell, a California consulting firm, to help find a developer for Water Works Park.    On October 9, 2012 at the next meeting, Mayor Leone will veto the ordinance.

September 11, 2012 –  Port Clinton Mayor Leone’s report to city council  makes him an honorary C.O.R.D. member.

October 1, 2011 –  Candidates Night, incumbent Mayor Hymore-Tester listed her accomplishments, especially improvements in local streets, sewers, water lines, beach and parks.   She said the Water Works park soon will be a “shovel-ready site.”

May 17, 2011 – special meeting is open to the public.  In February, a consultant unveiled two preliminary plans to the community. Both plans included a refurbished lighthouse and a lake- or river-based marina.  One plan, a Main Street-style development, including 300,000 square feet of one- to two-level businesses, shops, hotels and restaurants along a tree-lined circular drive.  The second plan offered 9 acres of green space and 200,000 square feet of commercial development.

May 24, 2010 –  Mayor Tester encourages council members to heal divide and work together after voters approved a waterfront resort last week.  City residents approved the rezoning of Water Works Park on Nov. 6, allowing for the development of a waterpark, convention center and hotel. The controversy surrounding the development has split the council, with five members supporting the rezoning and two who are opposed.

May 24, 2010 – Lender Fifth Third Bank has taken ownership of a high-profile piece of land in Fishers, ending a developer’s plans to build a hotel and water park on the site.  Puller Group, included plans for a 16-acre water park and 244-room Wyndham Hotel within Fishers Marketplace, a mix of shops, restaurants and offices.  Cincinnati-based Fifth Third began proceedings to foreclose on the property and attempted to collect nearly $8.6 million owed on the balance of a loan it gave to Puller and H2o Resorts II LLC. 

Thank you C.O.R.D.!  It could have been Port Clinton loosing our property to the bank!  Today, in 2013 that Puller foreclosed property will be home to a WalMart … oh my gosh, it could have happened here.  

May 24, 2010 – Members of Port Clinton City Council take this opportunity to inform citizens about the Waterworks Park development in the Sandusky Register

Nov. 9, 2009  – The public’s access to Ohio’s Lake Erie coast was recently enhanced with the acquisition of 25 parcels in Port Clinton.  Combined, the Port Clinton Lakefront Preserve includes 12.04 acres of coastal wetlands and marsh, and a one-third mile sand beach shore.

Nov. 6, 2009 – City residents approved the rezoning of Water Works Park to commercial  development.  The controversy surrounding the development has split the council, with five members supporting the rezoning and two who are opposed.

May 1, 2007 – Council repeals Ordinance 02-07, the Puller Group Water Park.  Fourteen residents led by individuals opposed to the Puller development circulated a petition to put a referendum on Ordinance 02-07 on the November 2007 ballot. This prevented the Safety-Service Director from beginning negotiations with the developer.

January 24, 2007 –   Council held the meeting in a Magruder Hospital conference room before an overflow crowd.  The project has been the subject of 11 public hearings over several years. The Puller Group plan won over a competing proposal submitted by Stonehenge, which would have built 300 condominiums and shops, along with a 450-slip marina, promenade, and amphitheater.  The Puller plan calls for a 161-slip marina, an indoor waterpark, and a 220-room hotel, with condominiums on the top floor.

2004-2005 –  Modern marina facilities are business anchors for many Great Lakes coastal cities waterfront focal points that draw extensive boating traffic and attract local businesses to serve those boaters. The city of Port Clinton, Ohio has a premiere location on western Lake Erie but inadequate marina facilities near its downtown.   A $9.5 million, 161-boat slip transient marina is on the way.  Transient Great Lakes boater traffic has tended to skip by Port Clinton, but soon, that will no longer be the case.

November 2001 –  The centerpiece of the city’s revival efforts is an ambitious waterfront protection and enhancement plan. The proposal, developed by Pflum, Klausmeier & Gehrum Consultants of Cincinnati, maps out a 20-year plan for improving the city’s waterfront along Lake Erie and the Portage River.

The proposals include:
1)  A waterfront walkway along the Portage River from the former Matthews
Boat Co. site east to Waterworks Park and the Lake Erie shoreline.
2)  Development of the Matthews Boat Co. site with shops, restaurants, and housing.
3)  Restoring a marsh area between Fulton and Ash streets as an “in city” wildlife viewing area.       
4)  A Great Lakes museum in the park’s Water Works building and an open space  for festivals.
5)  Transient-boat dockage near the river’s mouth and the municipal parking lot.
6)  An extended jetty at the mouth of the Portage River to prevent sand erosion at the lakefront City Beach.
7)  Construction of restrooms and a concession stand for beach users.                     

1994-1995 –  “Citizens Saving our Shoreline” (CSOS) was founded by residents living on Perry Street.  Public meetings were held with city officials and business leaders for the purpose of development in WWP.  The meetings back then were VERY loud & animated – some that almost turned into slugfests!  The city started spending money on “studies”.  This is when the fight over WWP park really started . Here we are 21 yrs. later and the fight still goes on!  This is when it started, 21 years ago!

Please take a moment to imagine ….. imagine if all this time, all this talent, all this effort and all this MONEY were put into maintaining the city of Port Clinton and it’s waterfront access.