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Smith: Committee should analyze relocating city hall

Andy Ouriel • Aug 16, 2012 at 12:00 PM

City commissioner Jeff Smith was voted down Monday after he asked commissioners to support assembling a committee to analyze the potential cost of relocating City Hall.

The idea is not new. More than five years ago city commissioners began pushing the Marina District project. That plan was to sell the City Hall property to make room for development.

Despite broad support on commission, and a citywide vote in which residents approved the plan by a small margin, the Marina District went down after the developer failed to meet the financial obligations of the agreement to buy the waterfront property at 222 Meigs Street.

Without referring to the Marina District, Smith made a motion to revisit the possibility of moving City Hall, citing  a downtown study that suggested it “was the No.1 thing the city should do to stimulate growth in downtown.”

But Sandusky finance director Hank Solowiej, in short, said commissioners should forgo the idea of spending possibly millions of dollars the city doesn’t have.

“No, we don’t have that in our bank,” Solowiej said.

Commissioners sided with Solowiej’s assessment. The next strategic, or long-term, planning session, is scheduled for Oct. 1.

More on this story, including a look at previous efforts to move city hall and a financial breakdown, appeared in Wednesday's Register. Read it and the past seven days newspapers by signing up for the e-paper HERE.

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