Battles are brewing in Port Clinton

Many of you know about the Bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie events taking place along our part of Lake Erie. If you are planning on coming, I heard you need to buy ferry tickets now (the battle reenactment will take place near Put-In-Bay on South Bass Island).

The Battle of the Waterfront

However, there’s another battle brewing here in Port Clinton – the Battle of the Waterfront (aka, Waterworks Park). If you’ve been to Port Clinton and Marblehead, you’ll know there are very few places where you can enjoy the waterfront, and almost no restaurants or bars where you can enjoy the view. Much of the waterfront is owned by property owners, including mobile home lot owners.

Port Clinton though has a large stretch of the waterfront still owned by the city, and I think since about 2000 there have been struggles between people who want to develop the waterfront to bring in jobs and tourists, and people who want to keep the waterfront pristine and under city control. Potential developers have come and gone over the past 13 years; presented plans that some liked and others didn’t.

The park is called Waterworks Park and I don’t know why. I don’t know if an old waterworks plant was along the water there, or if the city called it Waterworks because there is a small fountain that spouts water near the corner of Perry and Jefferson Street (by the way, you won’t find the park listed on google maps). See pics of the Waterworks Park in the slideshow above.

I do know that Port Clinton needs something to happen, something that will bring in jobs, revive tourism to at least its 1980s popularity, something that will help people of this town who are struggling, who have trouble finding decent jobs. And I know I’ve ranted on this before but someone really just needs the job of cleaning dead fish and trash off the waterfront. Tourists don’t really like that. And a nice boardwalk stretching all the way along the waterfront, from the pier to Port Clinton City Beach would be so lovely. Lots of people would stroll that.

I don’t claim to know or understand all of the nuances of this battle. We have Save Waterworks Parks signs up in yards (people opposed to development) and Save Port Clinton/Develop Waterworks Parks signs up, mostly in businesses. I’m hoping to get more facts tonight about the plan at least.

Tonight, the latest developer, Mike Rose presents updated plans for developing the area. While it has been changed from a public hearing to a council meeting in hopes of keeping the meeting on task (hearing what Rose is proposing and asking questions for clarity purposes), it will most likely be contentious anyway.

So, come for the Battle of Lake Erie, and stay tuned for the Battle of the Waterfront.

NOTE: I’m posting this now, before I have pictures so that I make my delivery deadling. I hope to get pictures up this morning. And maybe I’ll update it with a picture or two from the meeting ☺

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