BLOG: ODNR recommends maintenance for Sandusky Bay Pavilion

Aug 7, 2012


The Register ran a story on the Sandusky Bay Pavilion and brought some problems to the forefront; so much so, that a group of concerned citizens recently met with Ohio Department of Natural Resources to see what could be done with the park. ODNR also met with the city to set some goals for the park.

Going forward, the Department of Natural Resources would like to see the following from the city as a result of Mr. Shipley’s inspection of the Pavilion:

1) Provide a summary of its meeting with the Maritime Museum to confirm they will still be participating in maintenance.

2) Work towards the necessary maintenance to address the geese droppings. Ideally this is something that requires attention daily or every other day. I would like the city’s thoughts on what is possible to address that.

3) Work toward using weed trimming along the wall of the outside structure and in the area between the men’s and women’s restrooms near the bathhouse.

4) Notify us if the “walk around” of the facility during the third and fourth shifts does not occur or ceases.

5) Notify us if they will seek a coastal grant to assist with the upcoming planning costs and to provide us a copy of the application submitted.

6) Provide a draft timetable for the planning process. We would like to see a timetable that begins the process this year. We understand that the coastal grant funding may be essential and slow the timetable down, but we would still like to see a plan for action. Beginning to make progress this year can help on potential grant applications for next year and even without a completed master plan, showing a planned effort with citizen input can still help with the scoring. 

Thanks for checking out my weekly blog. My blog will feature different topics, so I hope you will stop back to check on what is going on in Sandusky.  

Sharon Johnson is a born and bred Sandusky resident who's outspoken about community issues. Her blog, chronicling her efforts to keep tabs on city projects, is posted here Tuesdays at 11 a.m.



Who is going to pay for all this?  The city is strapped for cash as it is?  I would think the ODNR would have the goose dropping picked up by the wildlife people as it more THEIR domain than the City.  Wildlife resources is more in line with that than the city of Sandusky.  You are asking too much of the City of Sandusky on that one. 

I would think that the weed trimming, etc for " bathhouse" would fall under parks.  If it needs to be done, they will get to it. 

You certainly need to be more specific on WHO needs to do the "walk around" on that shift business?  by whom? 

As for grants......that is Ms Ards job and right now, she is on leave.  Anything with that would be on hold I would think until her family matters are finished. 

The Maritime museum's fate is not of the utmost importance in this town at the moment.  Right now, this town needs a new chief of police. 

The biggest things this town needs is POLICE, FIRE and EDUCATION.  Once those are fixed and taken care of, the rest can be taken care of in order of importance and by what money this city has.  It seems to most of the clear headed folks of the City of Sandusky that trees that need to come down, rubbish, crime and safety are most important to them.  I would think it most important to all. 


I'm glad to be in Perkins. Great Police and Fire Departments, which are both under great leadership. A competent Board of Trustees, Plus property values per square foot are much higher than in Sandthugsty. I applaud you Sharon for what you do. But the minute something you say something that goes against the grain of SR adjendas, your gonna get fried.


@ City Perkins your taxes bills are higher than a cats back.  Your Board of Trustees is great if you can keep Dwelle off there. 

Your school is asking for money atter building a HUGE stadium, but they need money again. 

Granted your police do well, if they can teach your officers which laws to enforce equally (just this week they screwed up big time). 

Your fire department is the only one beyond reproach. You have problems with kids beating up grown ups and they have mouths on them that would scare sailors.   

So I wouldn't brag too loudly if I were you.  Perkins has just as many problems as we do in Sandusky you just all hide it better. 


Really?!?!!?  The biggest problem this city faces is the defunt wave action pool?  Do we really need to dump money on this?  Take a drive around town and ask yourself if this is the best possible hole to throw our money into.  Better yet, take that drive at night and ask yourself, "should we invest in the safety of the city, or in some old pool?"

Has Sharon Johnson ran for city commission, or is she one of those that has all the concerns and/or answers but has never volunteered to be the person responisble to fix it?

T. A. Schwanger

The wave action pool was built using LWCF dollars. For additional information see the below link.

car 54

   Sharon, why don't you ask city council about the plan to sell city hall?


@Car 54.....what makes you think the comission is going to sell city hall and move?  Where did you get this information or are you making it up?  Did you read about it in the SR?  Did you hear it at a council meeting?  Where did you get this?  

Because from what I am being told, they are not doing anything at the moment and it sounds as if you are fishing on something that isn't true at all.  Perhaps they THOUGHT about it at one time but they are working with deficit money as it is. 

Goodness, do you pay attention or what?  There are greater problems right now than moving city hall, which cannot be afforded.  Do you understand that? 


This is so funny! The city has finacial problems that most of you have no idea about. If ODNR wants to worry about this area, let them pay for it! As far as the geese problem, it is time to start eridicating them with controlled kills. Give the meet to homeless shelters. I hear it tastes just like chicken.

AJ Oliver

   If there were no waterfront, there would be no Sandusky.  It's a vital part of our community, and brings big bucks into our community - everything from bass tourneys, to giant kids' sailing regattas, to many amenities for our residents to enjoy.  It's really short-sighted to talk about abandoning it. 

   I don't always agree with Sharon, but she is good for this town.  If you anonymous critics did half the volunteer work she does, this town would have lots fewer problems.  If you are not going to be an active part of the solution, I really don't care very much what you think.  Get off your butts, and get out there and volunteer.  It will imporve your attitude if nothing else. 

   Here is the deal with ODNR and the National Park Service.  Back in the 80's the city applied for and got NPS money to build Surfs Up - about  $1.3 million in today's dollars.  NPS gave the city that money in exchange for the promise that the area would be for community recreation, and would be open to the public.  So no, it does not have to have a pool (although I like the idea of a bio-pool), but the city is not permitted to get rid of it without mitigating the loss.  People. it's the "jewel of the waterfront" as Rep Murray says. 

   Personally, I'm very excited about getting involved in the planning process to map out new facilities for the Surfs Up area.  No reason why they have to be expensive. 



And Surf's up closed because of the enormous settlement from a death.  How short are some of your memories???  The city took a terrible hit with that one.  Have you forgotten the cost????

The 80's was TWENTY plus years ago.  Yes a pool would be a wonderful thing.  Nice to lounge around, etc.  But how do any of you propose to PAY for this?  How do you come up with the M-O-N-E-Y?????

Do you think it grows on trees and that the city has it????   Do you think the city can just afford to pump it out like water?   It is already working at a deficit.  Where is it going to come from?    People like Ms Johnson and more have pie in the sky ideas fueled by the SR that just are NOT practical when there are so many things that come first and cannot fit into a budget that is already strained to the max.

Tell me, would you run your household this way?  SERIOUSLY?  Would you overextend yourself so badly just because you want something??????  I seriously doubt it unless you are a fool and I don't think you are. 

As for that building, come now.  That too is another plan by the SR.  It cannot be afforded unless the school board wished to DONATE it.  And I don't think that will happen either. 

People get your heads about water and think.  You all run households and pay bills.  This city is no different.  Why would you go into debt over your heads????  Would you do it?  Then why expect a city to?  

These are pie in the sky items right now and until other items are completed, they cannot start something new.  For once they have to finish what they started before they can take on new things.  THINK


If the city can think about moving city hall, they have money to fix up the Pavilion park.  If the city has money for Lions Park of which they have dropped a half a million dollars or more to this date and counting, it has money for the Pavilion.  The Pavilion needs tender loving care and it will not take a whole lot of money to put some basic repairs into it until a master plan is done.  The pool will never open up again and remains a big liability until something is done with it.  For the sake of our insurance policy, the liability needs to be addressed.  Grants are available for the repairs.  If you want to take advantage to the grants, you must take on the responsibilities of the restrictions that come with the grants. You just can't take the money and run with it as it does come with strings attached. 


Surfs Up closed because it had huge operating losses year after year. Period! Maintenance costs were outragious. Some years thousands of dollars were spent just to get the pool operating for the season. If the city continued to operate the pool at such huge losses year after year, the same people complaining about it not operating would complain about the money losses the pool was creating. The city was in a no-win situation, and made the right decision by shutting it down!


Wired Mama, I believe everyone knows how tight the city is for money.  The problem is that the commissioners don't understand that there is no money.  It is all about development at the taxpayers' cost.  As long as you use taxpayer monies, the sky is the limit.  Who cares how you waste it.  It is the responsibility of the city treasurer to step up to the plate and set the commissioners straight that you cannot spend more then you are taking in--clear and simple.

Super Judge

 This Johnsons "lady" 5 minutes were up along time ago! Put her to pasture so she can graze. Graze old wise Johnson graze till you come home!

T. A. Schwanger

Future plans for the Pavilion are in the preliminary stages.

  The ad-hoc group which met with Ohio DNR suggested a committee of local residents be formed from the Bayfront Corridor Committee, the Sandusky Recreation Board, members from Save Our Shoreline Parks and others to listen to public and adjacent property owner's ideas for the site.

    Early discussion with Ohio DNR regarding the pools is:: filling in the pool to create a natural amphitheater (previous City Recreation Master Plan), reopening the pool as a non-wave pool, transforming the pool into a Bio-pool or a Splash Pad. According to Ohio DNR, all are viable options.

  One thing is obvious---something needs to be done--the pool in its current condition is a liability for injury.

    The facility has been neglected. The roof system is deteriorating and the restroom facilities need attention.

    As for funding, there are several options. Land and Water Conservation Funds and a number of other state recreation grants are available. At least one local foundation is interested in funding involvement.

   Most certainly there will be City funds expended preferably through Community Development Block Grant funds with no impact on the City's General Fund.

Tim Schwanger

Pres; SOSP


And who set up your Ad Hoc committee Mr. Schwanger and by who's authority?????  Do you represent this City in any way, shape or form other than that which you yourself have given? 

Do you have the authority to make plans for this city?  Do you have the authority to make decisions about the public access to that pool?   Do you have the ability to make decisions for this city about grants, loans, public funds or accessing public grants for that pool in any way even where the neighboring businesses are concerned? 

Do you have the authority to apply for grants to repair, fund or reopen that pool, make changes to the buildings or "spruce up" the place?  Do you have the authority to even ASK the ODNR for any suggestions such as you did in making suggestions for that pool? 

By who's authority did you meet with the ODNR and who called them? 

Super Judge

 Lets spend tax dollars we dont have to revamp a area we wont use to satify a group we dont respect.

wiredmama222 is not often that we agree, but this IS one of those times

wiredmama222 you really believe that the commissioner don't know they are spending taxpayer money?  Come on now.  Even I don't think they are that stupid.  And I am not a great believer in most government entities.  The truth of the matter is, I believe many former commissioners began projects that cost a great deal and they never completed them before beginning even more.  That seems to be the mantra around here Start but not finish. 

Until some of these projects are completed they shouldn't even THINK about getting on a horse to start anything else.  What about Lions park.  That isn't done.  Started by Waddington, left unfinished.  The Police ....started...left unfinished.  Nothing should take this long.  Sorry but it shouldn't.  

This pool thing is just a ridiculous idea.  It should have been filled in.  Its cost ineffective and will not sustain itself.  Its a pipe dream at best.  If this "group" wants to do it let them find a way to fund and run it without using taxpayer money.....all of it. 

We need a bigger place for City Hall.  We cannot do that with the existing building, but we can't afford to buid a new one.  We need more room for a jail.  We cannot afford a new one.  There are many needs and little money.  And let me remind you that soon there will be less money coming in. 

Try and explain that to people like Johnson and Swanger.   We need to stop the double dippers too.  The best way to do it.  If someone puts in for retirement.....they must retire.  But we have to have an ordinance that states they have to .  There are a LOT of problems.  WE need to find answers. 

Sometimes I think we need to find a new City Manager and maybe a new "city treasurer" if we even have one.  It is time to set down and explain to the commissioners and the city manager what appropriations really mean.  If I can understand it.....they surely should be able to.  It means you divide up what you have and spend only that.  PURE PLAIN AND what you do at home. 

I guess they never heard the term before.  Ms Ard should have.

But if they got rid of her.    I don't want to see Mrs Haag as the next City Manager either.  I just don't think she is qualified. 

car 54

   Hey wiredmama222-Commissioner Farrar,  Cat's out of the beg.

T. A. Schwanger

RE Whirred, Wired, Birdman, Fireman, Swirled, Twirled, Whirled" href="about:blank#">Wiredmamma222: It sure would be nice if com mentors, comment ors, commenter, cementers, comment, commentary, fomenters" href="about:blank#">commentors  such as Irena, Fireman, Irma, Wire, Airman, Firearm, Wireworm" href="about:blank#">Wiremamma222 would read the other comments several times before commenting.

 It's obvious she only skimmed over my comments.

 The City leaders were doing absolutely nothing to address major issues at the Pavilion. Under TLC, LAWFUL, LAW, LOW, LCD, LAWFULLY, LUCIFER" href="about:blank#">LWCF Guidelines. Tthe City is responsible for keeping the facility well maintained and has failed miserably.

Ohio DR, DINAR, DINER, DONOR, NCR, NOR, NPR" href="about:blank#">DNR was contacted out of concern for the future of the facility.

Certainly, Wiredmamma222 will be welcome to join the Pavilion improvement committee if and when one is established as a money savings effort versus hiring an expensive consultant company.


@ TA Schwanger....why do other comments mean a thing when I am addressing YOU.? 

 And why is it that you always fail to answer direct questions?   There have been numerous times that I have asked you direct question that you have failed to answer them directly.  Either you do not have the answers or you feel you do not have the answers or you simply do not intend to answer them.  I think the latter is probably the case.

Mr. Schwanger.  There was nothing going on with this entire thing until your friend Ms Johnson and you decided to again stir the pot of discontent.  Just where do you suppose the money would come from to reinstitute any of what you expect to do expect for the grants you sugguest?  Oh, yes.  They would be fine to fix up.  But what about on going maintenance?  What would happen if a pool was restarted as Ms Johnson suggests?   What about maintenance, electric, chlorine, daily cleaning, lifeguards, safety equipment, the bathrooms, etc?  Who is going to pay for all of that when the city is so strapped now?  Your grant money will not cover any of that. It will cover the beginnig fix and repair, but not the ongoing costs and you know it. 

I again refer to my first question and reiterate the.  Pleae answer them as I asked them.  There was NO FUTURE for that facility and you should have known that.  The city had no plans to reopen it until Ms Johnson started this pipe dream of hers.  People should NEVER start something until they think it through completley and know that they can finish what they begin.  How in the world can a BROKE city maintain what they cannot afford when there are unfinished projects yet to be done?  

LWCF guidelines or not.....fThey were not an issue since the 80's, why now?  finishing what you start is paramount to a city's well being.  Like Lion's park, the police and other items of concern.  That pool is NOT a giant issue at the moment.  It seems to me you people are obsessed with just the water's edge.  Why not try worrying about somethng inland for once. 

Now please answer my questons in full if you would  

@ car 54....who asked you anyway?  


T. A. Schwanger

   RE Wiredmama222. The best answer(s) I can give you is educate yourself about the issue. I do not see in Ms. Johnson's Blog an indication she suggests the pool be reopened.


   I have to wonder, based on your comments, just how much you know about the facility--how it came to be in 1980s--the perpetual maint. requirement as per the National Park Service LWCF Agreement-- the hostile take-over attempt in 2006 for condominiums, which you were obviosly a supporter of- a hostile take-over attempt in 1998 by an adjoining property owner.

   The money the City kept from the developer of the defunct Marina District at Battery Park would have been seed money for Pavilion repairs-where has that money gone? 

   The yearly Battery Park TIF goes towards Christmas decorations at the State Theater instead of back into the Battery Park Master Plan Area including the Pavilion (ask for a copy of the Battery Park Master Plan-I'm sure the City will ablige)

   The City collects nearly six figures from State of Ohio Submerged Lands Leases (FYI waterfront marinas and boathouses). That money goes to the general fund instead of back into public waterfront projects.

    Have you ever attended any of the events at the Pavilion--this year saw record attendance at the Kids Fest and Safety Fair. Again, educate yourself on this issue.

   Hope this answers your questions on finance. Hope to see you at a future SBP planning session.


T. A. Schwanger

Pres; SOSP


skip it


@Mr Schwanger.......It was a pleasure meeting you this evening.  I must say, I wish we could have stayed awhile longer but we had to go as my husband has to be to work at 2 am.

Thank you for the "agenda" and for the shoulder when things got "rough".  I never dreamed a council meeting could get that "nasty" so FAST.  I really did think I was going to throw up a couple of times.  Thanks again.  LOL 

Hope to meet you again at another one.  I felt sort of sorry for some of the councilmen, especially the one who took care of the police chief committee and felt Ms Hall and Mr. Poole were out of line on their statements.  That was ugly.  I guess the law director sort of set them straight.  LOL  

Mr. Poole gave you a nice compliment although I thought there was work to be DONE on the pool and pavilion and he said ODNR said the city was in compliance.  What is up with that?  We had to go so what did we miss?   

Thanks for the help.  Will try and make the next one in two weeks.  


T. A. Schwanger

My pleasure also meeting you.

It appears Commissioner Poole's comments were in reference to City Manager Ard's manager's report indicating the City is appling for a grant from a local foundation to perform work at the Pavilion. At this time, I am not certain exactly what work is being proposed. I have asked City Manager Ard and Service Director Miller for additional information.

After Monday's meeting, Commissioner Grohe metioned contacting EHOVE or Sandusky High School carpentry classes to see if either would be interested in the Pavilion roof work.