Moving city hall downtown

Matt Westerhold
Mar 23, 2010

This is what I heard today: City officials are moving toward a deal for a new city hall in downtown Sandusky. Although I've not gotten official confirmation the info comes from a reliable source, and it's worth sharing.

A new city hall building could be up and running within 12 to 18 months after a contract is signed for buildings across from the old LaSalle county admin building and parking garage on Columbus Avenue. It's in the middle of the block, which in my mind means the property includes the old Woolworth building. The city reported looking at this property earlier this year.

The way the so-called deal is structured, the owners would gut and renovate the current buildings, bringing everything up to code with modern utilities. The space would house city hall, all city offices and Sandusky Municipal Court. The police department would relocate elsewhere �” hopefully in some form of partnership with Perkins police.

The city also would cut a deal with the county to share the county garage building to accomodate parking for the new city hall.

The city could come out ahead cost-wise, considering the expense to bring the current building at 222 Miegs Street up to code and the potential proceeds from selling the property to make way for the Marina District project.

Sounds like a good plan if it works as proposed, but I'm left wondering how government officials can continue to make deals and transactions without any public deliberation.

Comments

Anonymous

Hopefully this works out. Meigs St. is a dump. Thanks for writing about something other than Neusse.

reader

Well, Matt, we elect our commissioners to make decisions. I don't think its realistic to have the entire city vote on every major decision.

Also, we did approve the concept of moving city hall when we voted in favor of the Marina District project.

I think it seems like a good location. It should give the downtown a boost with more traffic, people looking for lunch or breakfast, folks passing by store window displays, etc.

Forge on, proud city on the bay !

Anonymous

It's not realistic to have the entire city vote on every major decision? Your right there----they didn't get to vote on the expensive Murman Report, the firing of Kim Nuesse, the expensive retired judge etc etc. As for this article---it's about as interesting as the rides at Cedar Point.

Anonymous

The part I don't like about this whole deal is that it is being done behind closed doors and until the agreement is signed, nothing will be made public until ground is dug and you actually see something going up. I think the commission has a lot of nerve doing all this behind closed doors. Talk about being secretive and all seven commissioners are guilty as charged for allowing it to stay secret. If it were not for the newspaper, none of us would know what is going on in our own town. If you have to make deals behind closed doors there is something not right. Where is all the money coming from?

mannie

Sorry Matt, I agree with you 100% on Nuesse but disagree 100% on this move. The city should spend 1 million on city hall improvements, merge police stations with perkins or the sheriff, put the muni-court into the county building. Let's start holding our elected officials accountable for our tax dollars. Murray want's his name on a building before he leaves for columbus! We will be paying for decades.

Anonymous

Sandusky Muni Court has always been with the police department. To the benefit of both organizations. How much will it cost the City to supply the extra security now that they no longer share the same building.

Anonymous

1)No Parking vs. several hundred spaces at 222 Meigs St.
2)NO handicap access vs. limited access
3)Government offices in retail district vs. potential retail rebirth
4)Fire Hazard among old fire traps vs. free standing masonry building
5)Crime deterrent vs. Criminal enticement

NineMM

RE: Benifit vs Problems..........Very good points you made there. City already owns enough vacant land to build on.............Tear down the Keller trap and use that stone to build a new city hall on already city owned property. The parking garage doesn't hold very many vehicles........The people that work and do business at city hall would have to walk over a block from the parking area at Jackson and Market. Why doesn't the city do something with that lot? Dropped of some mail at the mailboxes there and that lot is so rough a goat couldn't walk thru there.

Anonymous

The lot you are talking about commissioner Kamen has been pushing to have resurfaced at least the last two meetings. Adolph the leader is reluctant to do anything about this. I wonder just what he has in mind. You can bet it is something to help his GOB buddies.

NineMM

RE:RE: NineMM..................Maybe commission should take a walk thru the alley behind Madison School. It's also a fire lane to the rear of the school........Better put on your hiking boots or rent a burro or donkey.....

Anonymous

Who are the people behind SANDUSKY MARINA DISTRICT DEVELOPMENT, LLC ?

Anonymous

The Jackson Street lot should not be funded by the street fund money. $95,000 for a parking lot could pave some streets or even patch some streets in town. The commission cannot justify this expenditure to the people who have waited for years to have something done with their street.

NineMM

And this so called Murman Report and the suspension of Kim Nuesse was? How many holes would the cost of that fill up and it ain't over yet......What about the fire lane to an elementary school, not justified? If we can't maintain the infrastructure we already have, how the he11 can we move city hall? What about the underpasses? This town has got some real problems.

Anonymous

Relax, remember the famous saying "no cost to the tax payer". Maybe they are going to have a duck race at Kalahari or a Shoreline Park pot luck to raise money for this pie in the sky MD project. This way the citizens will not get stuck with any of their money being spent on foolishness like this project. More and more cities that have a waterfront are requiring the project to be moved a block away from the waterfront. This city should listen to these cities and learn from them. Why do we have to be guinea pigs for this type of development?

Anonymous

Lot should be paid for out of "development funds". Kamen proposed that at the last meeting.

Anonymous

Why would the city lease these Columubs Ave. buildings, once they were renovated, when the city building is paid for? These ideas seem to get more bizarre as we go along. No master planning done at all coupled with no money to proceed. The city would also have to pay rental space for parking spaces in the county parking garage. As for the six to nine million short fall of infracture monies that the TIF will not cover, I hope they don't think the money will come out of the sewer and water fund. The city seems to be tapping into this fund quite often and that would classify as cost to the taxpayer as in higher water and sewer billing. This must be some deal for the developer to keep hanging in there with the city throughout this economic down turn. What developer in his right mind would be building right now and what bank would be extending a loan to this guy?

Anonymous

The Register needs to do better when putting up the e-paper on the weekends. Last Sunday, the e-paper didn't even come up and I had to go buy a paper. On Saturday and Sunday, the e-paper doesn't come up until 10:00 or 11:00 or even later. What good is it when it comes up that late?

Anonymous

It is amazing the city has survived this long with people like you living in it. First off....NineMM.....Nuesse is GONE LET IT GO!!! MY God, even Matt Westerhold has moved on.....Second no matter what the city commission tries to do to improve itself, you people have to question everything and the only thing you have to substantiate your accusations is NUESSE and the Murman Report.....GOD!!!! It is no wonder that city is in the shape its in. You people are the ones who elected the people who are there, so let them do the job YOU elected them to do. We are talking about a city, that if not for Cedar Point, may as well break off into Sandusky Bay. Sure you give it a face lift by fixing up the downtown, which does look very nice, but you still have the same problems, like unemployment, crime, and the decent people who do live there are getting sick of the dreads of society that seem to be infesting that city in their Metro housing. Yet all you people seem to do is try and crucify the very people who are TRYING to make your lives better. Especially this moron 9mm....what is this name supposed to represent?? Are we supposed to take you serious because you call yourself the same name as a firearm? Anyone who can afford to, is moving out and other than those condos downtown and the developments on the outskirts of town....your city is owned by SLUMLORDS and all you can focus on is criticizing the people who are helping you. Why do you think Huron or Castalia dont have these same problems and they dont have an amusement park in their backyards...Wake up people...

Anonymous

That's a pretty brash remark calling 9mm a moron. He at least has the balls to use the same moniker on all his posts, unlike yourself that uses a phrase. So just for you today, we'll give you a moniker that suits you and you may continue to use it, that way there is a point of reference as to we are talking to.
EGOTISTICAL DOUCHBAG, THAT SHOULD JUST ABOUT WRAP YOU UP IN A MONIKER THAT SUITS YOUR TARD REASONING!!

NineMM

RE: Is it any wonder.............Why are you attacking me? You may think I'm a moron, but actually I am someone who cares about the current condition of this town. Why? I've lived here almost all my life. I stated from the beginning of the suspension of Nuesse that this is costing the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars in lost services. Was I wrong? sad part is, it isn't over yet. You can take a passive attitude and let this do little or do nothing commission handle the problems of the city, but I personally feel that they are just digging a deeper hole for us. Just my point of view. Take it or leave it.

Anonymous

For what's it's worth, I agree with you. I also have lived here all life (44 years) and I have never seen it this bad here. They (the commissioners) must think we are all idiots and we will just believe what they say (or don't say).

I know some people who helped with Stahl's campaign and can't believe the directions he is going. Murray is just in for it for a stepping stone for Columbus. Farrar just sides with Fuqua. And there you have your 4 votes. I can't wait until election time.

Anonymous

if Hagatha's bar catches on fire, and takes the city offices with it.

Anonymous

Maybe it is not such a bad idea moving the city offices downtown. As long as it does not put the city in further debt. Problem is that the company that is handling the Sandusky Marina District is running into problems with the Toledo Marina District. In other words, do not hold your breath Sandusky. Take a look at what is happeneing in Toledo. Maybe Matt should send one of his people to check the Toledo scene, or do it himself.

Anonymous

The Toledo Marina is handled by a different developer than the one in Sandusky as so noted in the Toledo articles. Explain how the Toledo marina connects up with the Sandusky marina project.

Anonymous

Give back the primo parking spaces covered up by that concrete abomination with the water fontain on it.

Anonymous

'no cost for City Hall' meant no more cost for a new City Hall than it would cost to bring the old one up to code and completely renovated. It didn't mean a free City Hall.

I didn't see anything stating that the City would lease the building, plus this is just a blog (although it isn't much less factual than a standard SR article).

Bringing the Columbus Ave property up to code includes handicap access. ADA accessability codes are part of the building code now.

We elect our officials for a specified period of time. A democracy elects these officials in an open election. We are free to vote for who we choose. But we don't get a say in every decision they make. Our job is to get them into office with the trust that they do it they way way we want. In another 2 or 4 years we get another vote.

Anonymous

I've discovered even if you do post something that pertains to the subject it still gets deleted. Bye Bye SR!!!

Anonymous

Not all of the commissioners were elected by the people. The people spoke and did NOT elect one of them, in a past election. When Crandall resigned this said commissioner was "appointed" by the current commissioners. If it had gone to the ballot, I don't think he would be in there. We said no once. It just goes to show, it's who you know.

Anonymous

Since there were 4 open seats on the commission and 4 people ran at the last election, if none of those people running received any votes would they still get appointed by the reigning commissioners or do they win by default.

Anonymous

If they were a GOB they would probably be "appointed".

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