With recreation in mind, Port Clinton plan needs input

Nov 21, 2023 | Featured, Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

The $70,000 Portage Park Playground Revitalization Project was funded in part by a $15,000 Park District of Ottawa County Parks and Trails Improvement Grant. It was completed about year ago. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

BY D’ARCY PATRICK EGAN

Looking to the future, what recreational experiences do Port Clinton residents really want? And how are we going to pay for them?

The city will tackle those thorny problems starting with a public Open House on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. at The Arts Garage, 317 W. Perry St., Port Clinton. The meeting is designed to provide suggestions for the new Recreational Amenities Survey and Plan it wants to create.

The object is to “increase the availability of unique, accessible and inclusive multigenerational recreational experiences.”

That sounds like a mouthful, especially when city officials are looking for grant funding for the construction of improvements while also seeking low maintenance costs.

“We have some projects in mind, and want community members to come forward to comment on them, and others they may have,” said Mayor Mike Snider. “We’re thinking about a Pickle Ball Court for a city park, perhaps a Port Clinton Dog Park or a Splash Pad on the Lake Erie shoreline.”

Those ideas all seem attainable, especially after receiving $1.9 million grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation for the beautiful Portage River Walkway. Or a $15,000 Park District of Ottawa County Parks and Trails Improvement Grant for the $70,000 Portage Park Playground Revitalization Project completed about a year ago.

Touring the Portage River Walkway in downtown Port Clinton after a meeting on federal funding were, left to right, Michael L. Connor, the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), U.S. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur and Mayor Mike Snider of Port Clinton. (Photo by D’Arcy Patrick Egan)

“We’ve had a history in Port Clinton of coming up with great ideas and acting on them,” said Snider. “But we need to determine how projects will impact the big picture. We need plans, and some small grants that eventually allow big projects.”

Connectivity with communities around Ottawa County is also a big part of the planning, creating recreational improvements that allow people to get from Point A to Point B. Port Clinton will have to create partnerships with villages and townships to make that happen.

The sought after Port Clinton Recreational Amenities Survey and Plan will first be comprised of community input, and based on public engagement and feedback, public right-of-way and access, and the availability of funding.

Over the last couple of years, said Snider, the city has funded and created significant recreational improvements. That includes the Portage River Walkway funded by ODOT, the Portage Park Playground funded in part by the Park District of Ottawa County and the new “comfort station” in Waterworks Park at the Port Clinton Lighthouse.

To help make new recreational developments happen, Port Clinton Council passed legislation in August to hire OHM Advisors, a professional planning and design firm. The city now intends to begin construction of a recreational facility by this spring, with a summer completion date.

Questions are accepted by email at pcssd@portclinton-oh.gov; pcauditor@portclinton-oh.gov; and by calling 419-734-5522.

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