Vermilion zeroes in on goal of buying museum building

Vermilion officials are inching toward acquiring a landmark waterfront property.
Andy Ouriel
Dec 16, 2013


Administrators expect to raise the $1.65 million needed before a Dec. 31 deadline to purchase the Inland Seas Maritime Museum building. The museum moved to Toledo several months ago.

City officials collected about $1.55 million over the past 11 months, equating to about 94 percent of what is needed for outright ownership.

“We do have more than that in pledges,” Vermilion Mayor Eileen Bulan said. “We are very close to our goal. We have to finish all the paperwork for the state of Ohio grants, and that usually takes a couple months”

Grants and private donations have accounted for most of the money raised thus far. Vermilion officials haven’t designated city tax dollars for this initiative.

Among the largest donors:

• $200,000: From Karen and Larry Bettcher — owner of Birmingham-based Bettcher Industries, a food and meat processing equipment manufacturer — to jump-start the fundraising effort. The donation also allowed officials to buy the option on the 2.3-acre property.

• $826,000: State grant given to city officials.

• $90,000: Grants from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Nature Works Program and the Federal Land and Water Conservation Program.

• $25,000: Contribution from Erie MetroParks.

It’s unclear what officials plan to do with the property, although a city-wide survey proposed one idea: Turn the site into a fishing museum.


Julie R.

A $25,000 contribution from Erie MetroParks, the idiots that cost the Erie County taxpayers 3.5 million in that long-drawn out MetroParks/Huron River Greenway case?

(Gee, isn't it just so ironic that Vermilion's law director (Rich Stumphauzer) is from the same big Lorain County law firm (Stumphauzer & O'Toole) as the attorneys (one being Dennis O'Toole) for MetroParks ~ the ones that intentionally kept that case going on & on & on for years and years, banking on the fact that they would win if the case stayed in corrupt Erie County.

It's unclear what officials from Vermilion plan to do with the property? All I can say for that is ---- it might not be clear to the citizens yet, but I'm sure the "officials" in Vermilion & Eeerie County know what the plans are!

Fibber Mcgee

So if the city raised the money, it becomes city property? Can they in turn
sell the land and building for a profit? This is strange.
By the way how did the museum ever get taken away from Vermilion?


Not very impressed. Grants equate to OUR tax $$.

2cents's picture

"Maritime Museum"
Including fishing, please do it and include all categories. You have the facility, it just needs to be filled again!

Don Lee

Anyone know what the plans are for the Canopus wheelhouse that is attached to the museum building?

Julie R.

Like everything, the "plans" for that could very well be a deep dark secret, too.