Downtown Sandusky received some good news recently when the city -- after nearly a 21/2 -year wait -- finally obtained a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to develop a transient marina near the Paper District.
"It's been a slow, slow, slow process," commissioner Dave Waddington said in perhaps theunderstatement of the year.
The original permit for the marina and shoreline work around the Chesapeake Loft development was submitted in Novemberof 2005.
Now that the permit is in hand, it's time for action.
The city-owned marina, which will feature 92 slips, promises to breathe new life into the downtown waterfront and will be a key part of bringing tourism and commerce to the downtowndistrict. The city needs to get this project bid out and started as soon as possible while making certain it is developed to its fullestpotential.
Still, it's important to keep in mind that the marina is just one part of the puzzle. The city needs to keep addressing blight issues downtown, finding responsible developers for vacant buildings and continually seek funding for brownfield redevelopment projects. Deadlines need to be set and follow-through is imperative every step of the way.
If these things can't be accomplished in a more timely manner, then the city needs to have the will to turn some of these properties into green space. Only then we will be giving people reason to drop anchor in our new marina.
The Paper District marina project needs to get wrapped up now and act as the West-side anchor to the growth zone promised by the Marina District on the east. Voters gave city leaders the green light with last November's vote on the Marina District project to get the ball rolling downtown.
Now is the time for action on the other end of downtown. Let's get it rolling.