Sandusky seeks a shipyard

SANDUSKY The waves of redevelopment continue to wash upon Sandusky's shores. A newly
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

 

SANDUSKY

The waves of redevelopment continue to wash upon Sandusky's shores.

A newly proposed shipyard on the Sandusky shoreline could bring 10-50 year-round jobs to the area.

The Put-in-Bay Port Authority is looking to partner with the city to build a shipyard on the 11-acre property, owned by the Kelleys Island Boat Line, west of the Geo. Gradel property along Shoreline Drive.

The $6 million project includes a 700-ton lift that could hoist even large vessels onto land for maintenance and repairs, according to Monica Drake, executive director of the Put-In-Bay Port Authority.

Drake presented the project to Sandusky City Commissioners at Wednesday night's meeting; commissioners expressed support for the endeavor.

"This is 10 to 50 jobs -- that are living-wage jobs -- that we desperately need in Sandusky," said Commissioner Dan Kaman.

Drake said that vessels are often taken out-of-state for maintenance and repair work because there are no local facilities that can accommodate them.

"Why shouldn't we be doing this right here in Sandusky?" she said. A shipyard that can handle vessels like the island ferries and the Coast Guard tug boats will save the taxpayers money. Instead of paying for boats to sit in shipyards in other states, they can be serviced more quickly and closer to home. The lift could potentially use both regular diesel fuels and biofuels, Drake said.

Drake has met with U.S. Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, and U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo, and said both have expressed support for the project.

"This is a really good fit with the city's long-term vision," said newly-elected Ex Officio Mayor Dennis Murray.

Drake said the shipyard will likely be an equally private and public partnership, with the Port Authority acting as the steward of public funds and interests.

Drake said that she will have the appropriations request submitted to the federal government by the end of January. If approved, the lift could be ordered by October of 2008.