The Bay Front Corridor

Sep 17, 2013


The Bay Front Corridor’s subcommittee has been formed to explore the best ways to utilize the Sandusky Bay Pavilion.  The committee seems to have come to terms with the fact that the park should remain a public park.  

The subcommittee would like to have the Trust for Public Lands (experts at raising money for local conservation) facilitate a steering committee which would include the Recreation Board, Planning, and other interested parties. The city manager was instructed to gather the Trust for Public Lands together with the stakeholders and BGSU to work something out.    Does it make any sense for one group to go one way and the city manager to go another way when BGSU is in talks to see if its plan is feasible? The group seemed to have waited until BGSU took an interest in the park and decided they needed to form a committee to discuss their plans for the park.   

The subcommittee is made up of at least one member of the Yacht Club and the director of Mainstreet Association. It will be difficult to tell what hats these gentleman will be wearing, taxpayer or lobbyist’s hats, at the time they are discussing what to do with the park.  It all depends on what the city is going to do with the park whether or not the members will end up having a conflict of interest when it comes to voting on a recommendation to the commissioners.  

I don’t understand why the city is making a big production out of a project that could cost a tremendous amount of money when all the citizens would like to have is a clean, functional, and well maintain park.  It seems the city could have several parks remodeled by the time it expends money on consultants and design work. The city should have its own in-house talent to do the planning in order to save money on consultants and design work.  Why can’t things be simplified instead of making them more complicated than they really are when it comes to improving a park?

The whole corner of Meigs Street from the City Hall to the pavilion has been nothing but a never ending turf war.   Anytime there are discussions about fixing up the pavilion or City Hall, it never fails to end up with a group stalling out the projects and then the subject is dropped with nothing ever being accomplished.  Does the group have bigger plans for the properties if they can stall the projects long enough until the time is right and the city is better off financially?  

Until next week, let’s hope the city will keep the park project on track and not allow the project to be stalled by talking the subject to death and never accomplishing anything.  Time is running out for the park and something needs to be decided soon as to how to proceed with the improvements.


The Bizness

Not all residents want it to be kept a park Sharon. If a private owner wants to develop there, why not look at what they offer as well?


The citizens do not want another park to drain the city budget and add to things for you to complain about. We want businesses, we want to add to the city economy, not take from it! Sure parks are nice, and we have plenty of them. It is time to quit whining about getting more parks and whine about what we really need!



You do understand the site in question is already a park right?


Yeah, it is a "park" in general terms. So it Shoreline Park, would you want something else like that. We tried to host a family reunion down there last year and it was a travesty. The shelter was full of trash and a couple homeless people came by asking for food (at least they said they were homeless). We gave them food and next thing you know there were more people asking for handouts than we had attendees to the family reunion.

Which leads back to my original statement, wouldn't it be nice to encourage businesses to come to town, expand our economy and give these people jobs? Or should we continue to pay for more and more upkeep on parks and other money drains?

T. A. Schwanger



The issues you describe are issues best addressed by informing City authorities of the situation and enforcement. We could fill up the entire downtown with business after business and still have the same incident you refer to.


The city can't manage the parks it owns now. Huron Park, Lion's Park and I'm sure others beyond my recollection have either gone neglected or required outside funding for maintenance/upkeep/renovations. Parks are nice & pretty but we don't seem to have enough park personnel to manage them all.....

Sell or lease the pavilion.

The Bizness

Another thing Sharon,

You got your panties all up in a knot when Dockside Cafe opened, and you said they should have opened it up to lease bids.

So why don't we do that with this property? Before we agree to what BGSU Firelands wants, why don't we open it up to leasing bids?

You and your group of friends are a special interest group as well.


As long as it is not sold to a developer for residential purposes. It needs to stay open to the public whether a park or shopping or some other PUBLIC use. I for one do not want some rich condo folks in there to take up the last of the public waterfront access.


I agree with doppleganger, and I say, NO, the Yacht Club cannot have it.

And in response to "totally amazed", I think our parks outrank most... And our downtown is beautiful. Let's keep it that way!!


I agree the downtown parks are amazing and should stay that way. But all city parks are not created equal. Some are eye candy (downtown) and some are recreational (Lion's Park). The trouble that I have with another park on the waterfront is just that, another park on the waterfront. Battery Park is a spit away and Shoreline Park is 2 blocks away.

If the city leases it (for argument sake, they lease it) they can stipulate public access in front of the property. More property shouldn't be added to the city liability column (money going out and none coming in).


@ Totallyamazed

You also understand the site in question is already a park right?


Yep, I do. But the question of what to do with the property came up recently (well...maybe it just resurfaced). The question was sell, redevelop, or leave it as it is. As it stands now, it's a cement pond surrounded by grass, cinder blocks, and a view of the bay. It's been under control of the city for "x" amount of years. Nothing has been accomplished there in terms of renovating it into a "tourist destination". I would think that most people find it to be an unsafe environment as it stands now.

Nor'easter brings up the best argument against selling it. It was mostly paid for by grants that the city would have to pay back or build another pool elsewhere (if I remember right).


Sandusky Register, go research the title to the property. Wasn't this property restricted to a public park by an agreement with the State Department of Natural Resources that helped pay for Surf's Up when it was built? There has been state and federal funds used for improvements along the bayshore and there are significant requirements that went with the agreements, like public access, requirement to pay back all funds used, handicapped access, (Ask Kelly Dillery) and probably civil rights to use as well. Any attempt to change use needs to be fully vetted in a public forum i.e. open meetings unless the city wants to end up with a costly lawsuit that would most likely be held in federal courts where a rent-a judge would not exist.

The Answer Person



For commenters not familiar with the Sandusky Bay Pavilion (former Surfs Up Aquatic Center) issues, here goes.

I don't recall the exact year the pool was closed, since there have been so many attempts by adjacent property owners, and others, to take over the property for private use and gain, the years have melted together.

However, I will refresh some memories.

When Mike Will was City Manager, he formed two citizen committees. One to decide the fate of where City Hall now stands and another committee to decide the fate of the Sandusky Bay Pavilion. The Pavilion Committee recommended keeping the Pavilion as a Special Events Complex and public access venue with upgrades. Low and behold, less than a month later along comes John Eyemann with an attempted private takeover of the Pavilion, a Marina District at Battery Park public vote that split the community in half, the lost--then found $100,000 check and the rest is history.

Why has the pool at the Pavilion sat empty all these years? Every time Pavilion improvements begin to take shape a commissioner(s) decides to throw a monkey wrench to promote their pet projects by selling the property.

gramafun sounds as if you may have been on council at one time or really into a committee about the Pavilion with that kind of knowledge. You "name" indicates something as well "they paved paradise and put up a parking lot". I get it. But we have tons of nice parks. The truth about that pool's end was a multi million dollar lawsuit over a boy drowning there....isn't that correct? And it being the fault of the lifeguard's negligence while on duty????? I distinctly remember that. It ended the pool use because the commission was afraid of being sued again. The next year they simply didn't open it. Good bye pool.

Yes, they wanted it sold...Mike Will thought it best to unload it. The $100,000 was not Mike Will, it was the last guy who went out with Nuesse. HOWEVER....the truth is, everyone is fighting over water entry rights. We have a great deal of that too.

I don't want to see condo's go up there. I would love to see the pool revitalized. Other cities do it with less than this city has. Other cities run pavilions to rent with more problems than we have and keep them under why is Sandusky so screwed up? Because everyone wants to be the chief and no one wants to be an Indian. That's why. And it starts with blogs like this one. Someone needs to take a BACK SEAT and just work, not run at the mouth. We don't need a $30,000 study on a study either.

We have a city manager, let her do her job without so much outward contempt. We have a college nearby....wait till we see what they have to say before we JUMP them, we have people willing to work and willing to say something...WAIT till they do so before you pass judgement. That goes for one and all. But we have people not willing to do that.. Just be a little patient. PLEASE. And not so quick to whine and cry just because someone you have in your group can't stand to see any water access get cut off.

T. A. Schwanger



Actually the pool was NOT closed the year after the accidental drowning. Certainly sympathy goes out to the family of the victim, but a drowning was an accident waiting to happen.

The stage was set when the rafts and tubes were rented during the time of wave action creating a "camouflage" effect where lifeguards had a hard time seeing the pool bottom. By the time they noticed, it was too late. After the drowning, a significant number of life guards were added and every 1/2hr to 45 minutes everyone had exit the pool to take a rest break.

The pools demise came about via the games played by City Commission at the time. One year, pool patrons were prohibited from bringing picnic baskets into the facility--result--lost clientele. For years, the city charged a number of grounds maintenance crews salaries to the pool including personnel working at the golf course--result--fudged figures showing the pool loosing money.

In your fourth paragraph you state "wait and be patient". There's no visible evidence anyone, including the City Manager, is working on anything Sandusky Bay Pavilion related since the August public input session.


Mr Schwanger....I remember the drowning quit differently than you. I remember the very next year the pool being closed. As usual, you and others like you, blame the commissioners for what became the end of something. I still feel that it had to do with what you and some considered to be the city blocking and owning rights to the access to water. That access BELONGS to the City of Sandusky as does other things such as the city Hall, etc. Should those rights be given up, it is up to the city what they do with their rights. It does not necessarily mean that those water rights go directly to your groups or to the people for access to the bay as much as you would like to have more parks with water access. Cost alone may be prohibitive.

I would love to see the city reopen the pool for use by the city kids. Not necessarily the wave action pool but just a pool. Other cities manage it without incidence and the city of Sandusky could as well. A small fee to use the pool would not be out of the question to defray costs. Again, other cities make it work. The pavilion could be managed in the same way. It doesn't have to be free.

But public access to the water for one and all isn 't the answer either. We have that in many areas and it is commopn knowledge. I think that has been achieved. To gain more and more is simply not needed. It is overkill. Our parks are gracious and green now. I think we have achieved what most places haven't. So we need now to move on. We need businesses an factories and places for your people to work.

If the like minds of those in your group would start to work on that, you might make a go of it.

paving paradise doesnt mean you have to put up a parking lot. Perhaps you can put up a factory or two. Start thinking about putting up some out on 101 since the new overpass is now done.

Perhaps instead of constantly complaining about the pavilion, your friend Sharon, Paved and you could start thinking a little larger and start thinking about some work related issues for the people who live here and a little less about the parks and recreation side of Sandusky.

And perhaps all of you could think about running for office if you want to be truly in a position to do things about how Sandusky goes. Writing about it and posting answers to questions OTHERS have been asked do not make them work. Make any excuse you want. If you have time to be on here and time to do committee work, you have time to run for office, sir. Try putting your name on the ballot. Get elected and do so in a legal manner to be taken seriously. I wish I had the good health you have to do it. I had a heart attack. That finished me. All I can do is lip service now. My political days are over. I wish I could do what you are capable of it, I am not.

What you are capable of, I can only dream of. Get voted in....Its the American Way.

T. A. Schwanger


@ Gramafun

The purpose of Save Our Shoreline Parks is to protect and enhance Sandusky's existing waterfront parks.

The task of creating or retaining jobs,is being financed by yours and mine tax dollars by way of contracting with ECEDC ($30,000 annually), the City Manager and her boss' the City Commission. If the powers that be would concentrate more on the task of retaining and creating more jobs instead of annihilating our gem waterfront, Sandusky would be a better place to live, work and play.

Interesting read: