But some village entrepreneurs hope a new dock also sparks interest in luring a boatload of tourists to Oak Harbor.
If you’re interested in helping Oak Harbor’s plans for a renaissance, call 419-706-6034.
Village taxpayers recently fronted $20,000 for a new dock in the Portage River, where Church Street ends near West Water Street. The seasonal or temporary dock, capable of accommodating up to eight smaller personal boats, is free of charge. It’s the first of its kind in Oak Harbor.
“We’re trying to bring people to Oak Harbor,” said Mike Shadoan, a member of the village’s downtown revitalization implementation committee. “We want people to come to Oak Harbor.”
Along with developing the riverfront, committee members strive to:
• Provide more parking downtown. q Improve the appearance and aesthetics of downtown business fronts.
• Seek out new entertainment options for people to visit Oak Harbor.
“What would make people come to Oak Harbor?” Shadoan said. “We are trying to (capitalize on) the water, by creating things for birders, kayakers, people riding canoes and Jet Skiers.” Shadoan, who owns Radiant Windows in Oak Harbor, envisions the dock spring-boarding future waterfront development.
“The ultimate goal is to attract a restaurant down here by the (Ohio 19) bridge,” Shadoan said. Next year he’d like to introduce more dock space, a kayak launch and provide more handicap access along the Portage River. “We’re going to try to do this all without spending tax dollars,” Shadoan said. “The town doesn’t have a lot of excess money. But if we keep waiting for grants, things won’t happen.”