BY SHERI TRUSTY
The Port Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce hosted two ribbon cuttings last week to highlight much-needed additions to waterfront recreational areas. A new Comfort Station featuring much-needed permanent restrooms recently opened its doors at Waterworks Park, and officials finally honored the Port Clinton Walkway that opened last year along the Portage River.
The Comfort Station was a collaborative effort of the Friends of Port Clinton Parks, the City of Port Clinton, and the Port Clinton Lighthouse Conservancy. Doug Focht served as general contractor. The project, which cost $182,000, was funded by the Henry Stensen Memorial Foundation, Brian Beck of Beck Supply, Cindy Bolte and the donations of many local community members.
“People that heard about it wrote a check,” said Debbie Hymore-Tester, President of the Friends of Port Clinton Parks. Hymore-Tester thanked the many businesses, city officials and local residents who worked hard to make the Comfort Station project a reality.
“We had many obstacles to overcome,” she said.
Mayor Mike Snider said the bathrooms were a longtime need at the park, which draws thousands of people each year for the Walleye Festival, Port Clinton Lighthouse tours, art shows, concerts, walkers, joggers, beach goers and fishermen at Derby Pond.
“It may seem kind of strange to have all this pomp and circumstance over a bathroom, but it’s a good thing. It was much needed,” Snider said. “Every one of us here has a smile on our faces because this is a point of pride.”
Ottawa County Commissioner Mark Coppeler and Brennan Madison of Main Street Port Clinton presented certificates of recognition for both projects. Snider said the Port Clinton Walkway – a boardwalk utilized by anglers, walkers and boaters – was initiated during former mayor Vince Leone’s term of office.
“We just happen to be at the end of it,” Snider said. “It’s a great addition to the shoreline and much needed. The old shoreline was in disrepair.”
The Walkway is a community asset that has been utilized by thousands of people in its first year.
“It’s something we have all wanted for a long time,” Madison said.