LETTER: Marina District won't help

What would possess a developer, or city leaders, to follow through with private development on public property knowing at least half
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

 

What would possess a developer, or city leaders, to follow through with private development on public property knowing at least half the community does not support the project?

The community was sold a bill of goods last November when the developer, Sandusky Now and city leaders promised the Marina District Project would generate 1,500 jobs, $250 million in investment and at no cost to taxpayers.

The project has been whittled down to $44 million. Updated project employment figures have not been supplied. There is a projected $6 million to $9 million public portion shortfall (hang on taxpayers).

Under Tax Increment Financing, the city schools receive a fraction of Marina District property tax owed over 20 years. Property taxes will be used for Marina District infrastructure improvements and a new city building or a renovated existing building.

Mr. Eymann, as an outsider, you have shown your true character by depicting Sandusky residents who ask legitimate questions and share concerns regarding your project as negative. You underestimate the community's regard for our waterfront parks and our wallets.

It is well known your project does nothing for the issues facing Sandusky's troubled core neighborhoods.

Are we against progress? No, as long as development does not rid us of valuable waterfront park property. Do we want to see a thriving downtown? Absolutely. But how does giving up 10,000 yearly visitors to Sandusky Bay Pavilion special events in exchange for 120 condominiums and adding retail space to compete with downtown merchants help the downtown?

The Register reports Sandusky's home rental rate at 67 percent. Building more condominiums on our waterfront, with minimum wage jobs left after construction completion, is not the answer. We need a stepped up effort by city leaders and government subsidized economic development groups to pursue living wage jobs to facilitate home ownership and a thriving city.

Tim Schwanger

Sandusky