Port Clinton Mayor Vince Leone and Ohio Senator Randy Gardner shake hands at the ODOT press conference.
During a press conference held by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Wednesday, June 11, at 11 a.m., it was announced that Port Clinton had received a Small Cities Grant worth $2.34 million that will go to the upgrade and improvement of the downtown.
The grant enables the City to perform the following upgrades and improvements:
• Reconstructing Madison Street from Third Street to Perry Street, a distance of approximately 1100 ft.
• The City intends to reconstruct the pavement and replace the curb and sidewalk.
• The replacement of sidewalks will be extended 3-5 ft. on the west and east side of Madison Street to improve pedestrian traffic and encourage outside venues.
• Under drains will be installed along with a new drainage structure and storm sewer.
• The project will also serve to upgrade and enhance pedestrian safety within the heart of downtown Port Clinton with traffic calming features including narrowing traffic lanes, widening
sidewalks, ADA accessibility, landscape features and lighting along the transportation corridor.
• The City also will install new sanitary sewers and new water lines.
• Complimentary activities will include building façade improvements by participating property owners using grants and low interest loans.
After the City was presented with the grant, Port Clinton Mayor Vince Leone spoke at the press conference.
“The gift from ODOT allows us to take large steps,” said Mayor Leone. “Now we’re not just saying let’s do something, we’re doing it.”
The mayor also took time to thank Port Clinton City Council members who, he says, have one vision and that’s P.C. all the way.
“The $2.34 million dollar project from Perry to Third isn’t just surface work and band aids,” said Mayor Leone, “we will do things right one time; top to bottom. It’s not just about the structure, it’s also about economics; helping the local businesses. During my campaign when I ran for mayor I was very clear that I wanted to help do something for the downtown. When you looked north towards the lake, it was beautiful. When you turned around and looked at the downtown, it wasn’t so much. I posed the question, what can we do about that? Now, there’s no more ‘we will try to move forward’; we’re doing it.”
Ohio Senator Randy Gardner followed Mayor Leone. Senator Gardner explained, “ODOT gets a lot of demands to be a lot of places, they saw the value, energy and potential in Port Clinton.”
“It’s frustrating because people that hold public offices… it’s easy for them to have reasons to say no,” said Senator Gardner. “To be better, we need to not be afraid of change. We need to say yes.”
In closing, the District Deputy Director of ODOT Todd Audet said that Port Clinton received 25% of the funds that were available to all cities in Ohio. He also thanked the mayor for his leadership abilities to make this happen for the City.