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For the city of Sandusky, opportunity knocks

Anonymous • Feb 11, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Excerpt from editorial Viewpoint in today's Sunday Register:  A suggestion by Erie County commissioners on Thursday that the city of Sandusky consider moving its City Hall operations to the County Administration Building at Columbus Avenue and Washington Row includes an offer to donate county-owned property near the sheriff's office that potentially can be designated as an enterprise zone where the Sandusky Municipal Court and the city police department can build.

An enterprise zone in the area where the sheriff's office and jail, and the new Perkins Police Department are located would allow for the current structure of our law enforcement agencies to remain as they are, while at the same time enhancing cooperation among those agencies and the court. It could become a sort of justice center isolated from tourists and residents visiting downtown and the waterfront pathway.

An enterprise zone also preserves the tax base for each community.

At first blush, it appears there are many advantages in the proposal to move City Hall operations to the former LaSalle store with the parking garage:

**   Eliminates the potential multi-million dollar construction or renovation costs associated with relocating, a huge plus for taxpayers.

**   Moving City Hall operations could be accomplished relatively quickly with limited expense.

**   Criminal proceedings and the activity of a busy court get removed from a slice of waterfront property, enhancing the recreational or commercial value of that property and the adjacent Battery Park and former Surf's Up properties along the waterfront.

**   Connecting the current City Hall property with Battery Park and the Surf's Up properties creates an opportunity for world-class waterfront acreage with a world-class view that will enhance the value of Sandusky and it's downtown business district as a premiere tourism destination place.

The initial reaction from city, county officials and members of the public has been positive and we hope city commissioners move quickly to vet the details. Municipal Court Judge Erich O'Brien has set a June deadline for a decision on his plan to use court funds for the construction of a new municipal court building.

We urge city commissioners to have a public discussion at tomorrow's city commission meeting and a vote to ask city manager Nicole Ard to review the details with county officials and come back with preliminary recommendations within 30 days.  


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