REGISTER VIEWPOINT: A lesson for both sides of the bay

We hope the pullout of the Puller Group doesn't represent an irretrievably lost opportunity for Port Clinton. But we
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

We hope the pullout of the Puller Group doesn't represent an irretrievably lost opportunity for Port Clinton.

But we hope it presents a cautionary tale, and maybe a lesson, for Sandusky.

There was supposed to be a glittering hotel, waterpark and marina at Waterworks Park, along Perry Street on Port Clinton's Lake Erie shore. It was supposed to bring high-dollar tourism and with it, revenue and jobs of the kind delivered by Kalahari in Perkins and Huron townships on this side of the bay.

But Puller Group, claiming surprise at what could and could not be done with a Tax Increment Financing scheme that pays for infrastructure, pulled up stakes and the project died a-borning.

Told you so, chuckled those who opposed the project. What about Stonehenge? wondered those who backed the competing, and more modest, development proposal. And the search for blame began.

We can't fault city leaders -- in Port Clinton or in Sandusky -- for wanting to attract a high-dollar shot in the arm. However, we need to acknowledge we're not development experts and must look past the stars in our eyes at the track records of those looking to develop our assets for what we hope will be mutual benefit.

For one thing, we find it hard to believe a competent and reputable developer would not know what can and can't be done with a TIF -- or would expect us to believe it doesn't know.

We've taken note that the date for a development deal announcement keeps getting pushed back for Sandusky's Marina District project. While you are sorting out the other details of this important project, please take a few minutes to make certain our partner is everything they represent themselves to be.

We stand behind our endorsement of this project, and are hopeful both it and some future plan for Port Clinton come quickly to fruition.