Try, try again on Paper District marina

SANDUSKY Although city manager Matt Kline's initial proposal for atransient marina is dead in thewat
May 24, 2010



Although city manager Matt Kline's initial proposal for atransient marina is dead in thewater after Monday's city commission meeting, Chesapeake Loftsresidents and city officials areconfident another plan willsurface.

On March 22, the Chesapeake's Condo Owners Association will meet again with Kline to discuss possible ideas for the marina.

But Bob and Ruth Haag, the project managers of the Chesapeake Walkway project, are encouraging residents to contact them before that meeting with any suggestions and concerns about a potential marina.

Bob Haag said what residentssuggest for that area -- whether it's a small or big marina, more condos, restaurants, shops or something else -- will help determine the design of the marina and the rest of the Paper District.

"We're going to try and get as much input as possible," Haag said. "If you have opinions, now is the time to share them."

The Condo Owners Association have made it clear they still want a marina -- just not at the expense of the Chesapeake Walkway project. Consequently, owners implored commissioners to vote down Item No. 9 on their agenda: A change order that would have stopped work on the northwest corner of the walkway.

City officials contended the change order was necessary to save money. To implement Kline's marina design, they said, the city would need to build a breakwall in the area of that northwest corner.

Officials said it didn't make sense to do $104,000 in construction on that corner, only to "tear up" some of that work when it starts building the marina.

"It would be like throwing that money away," ex-officio mayor Craig Stahl said.

But condo owners said they wanted the Chesapeake Walkway finished before discussing other plans. They said there are ways to design a transient marina other than Kline's proposal, and the city should find a design that won't infringe on the Chesapeake's property and walkway.

The owners criticized the city for making rash decisions, and not allowing time for the appropriate dialogue.

"We want you to build us a marina, we just want you to do it the right way," said Tracey Kerston, treasurer of the association.

One commissioner, Dan Kaman, said the city frequently acts too quickly and the commission never discussed the marina as a group.

"We (often) put the cart in front of the horse," Kaman said. "This is just one example."

When the city does decide to build a marina, it will have some medium-sized waves to overcome.

Tim Schwanger and two other Sandusky residents have raised concerns about "wave attenuation." Schwanger said depending on the wind, waves might deflect off the Deep Water property and repeatedly crash into the marina.

Brownfields -- contaminated areas -- are also an issue. Bob Haag said there are some spots on the Tricor property that are dangerous for humans to come in contact with. The city could "cap" the property with at least two feet of good soil to make it safe, at least under Ohio EPA guidelines, but Haag said he's not necessarily a fan of that method.

Financing could also be an issue, although officials said it's too early to start discussing money issues. Right now, they are just collecting ideas.

Bob Haag said residents should contact him at 419-621-9311 to share suggestions and concerns about the marina.