Port Clinton’s future is just around the corner

Mar 5, 2024 | Around Ottawa County | 1 comment

Chloe Lantz, left, and her mother, Amber Lantz, both of Tiffin, traveled to Port Clinton on Feb. 26 to pick up carryout at Ciao Bella and have a picnic in the cool but sunny weather at the Port Clinton Lighthouse. “Port Clinton has a little bit of everything. You can’t take it for granted,” Amber said. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

BY SHERI TRUSTY

There may be a time in the near future that Port Clinton is unrecognizable. City administration and local organizations are working collaboratively to improve the roads, transform the parks and clean up the city. This summer, local residents will see evidence of the first steps toward the improvements that will make Port Clinton an even better place to live and visit.

Port Clinton’s Forward Looking Infrastructure Project (FLIP) has been in the works for a frustratingly long time. FLIP’s Project A addresses above ground and road resurfacing issues. Project B addresses below ground issues of water and sewer improvements. The project’s initial burst was waylaid by COVID and all its delaying implications.

“It’s taking longer than I anticipated,” said Port Clinton Mayor Mike Snider. “We had a global pandemic and record-breaking inflation, and interest rates shot out of the cannon.”

As the economy changed, so did financial needs and funding source requirements. A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development umbrella grant and loan package is providing funding toward both projects, but the funding was placed on hold while the USDA reviewed the project plans. A meeting between the city and the USDA scheduled for Feb. 9 was postponed by the USDA, and the city is waiting to hear back about a rescheduled date.

Port Clinton Mayor Mike Snider’s tenure has been defined by quiet moments of servant leadership and big picture improvement efforts for the town. Here, he serves as a civilian volunteer with the Port Clinton Fire Department. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

From left, Lori Mobley of Wellsville, Lindsey Lehman of Pittsburgh and Paul Newburg of Pittsburgh stopped by Port Clinton during a break from working at Davis Besse on Feb. 26. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

“Once the USDA gives us the blessing, we can put out bids for the above-ground paving portion,” Snider said.

In the meantime, bids have already gone out for a Lakeshore Drive crosswalk project that will include a light and crosswalk near Dock’s Beach House and Mr. Ed’s.

“So, in essence, FLIP has started,” Snider said. “We started with zero, and in the end, we have a Brink’s truck full of dollars coming in our direction.”

The city’s second focus is its collaborative work with the Park District of Ottawa County to add amenities to city parks. The project, which was substantially funded by the park district, began with a community survey conducted by OHM Advisors. The results show that the most popular community requests are a splashpad, a dog park and pickleball courts.

The next step is to conduct a feasibility study on implementing the plan. Snider said details have to be considered, such as water access for a splashpad and the availability of parking for a dog park.

As the roads are being repaved and the parks are being transformed, the city will continue its long-held commitment to cleaning up the community, including addressing the problem of unwanted furniture placed on curbs. A city ordinance prohibits placing items on the curb for more than 24 hours.

“I call them Living Room Lawns. The days of putting unwanted stuff on the curb doesn’t pass anymore,” Snider said. “We ask people to contact their trash hauler for pickup and put the items out the night before, not three nights before.”

The city is also reminding people to refrain from mowing grass into the road.

“We’re getting into the season where people mow clippings into the street. That can cause a lot of trouble in sewer lines,” Snider said.

This summer, Port Clinton may look a bit more spruced up as local residents abide by city ordinances. Later, the city roads may provide a new welcome mat for visitors, and residents may find new ways to play at local parks. Overall, Port Clinton’s future looks brighter and a lot more fun.

“Since day one, that’s been my focus,” Snider said.

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1 Comment

  1. Scott Gresser

    Mayor Snider has done a great job for the city of Port Clinton. But it won’t mean a thing if the residents don’t have a diverse economy and not just tourism to keep them here and keep a steady flow of city income tax money coming in.

    Reply

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