Erie County Port Authority

Oct 1, 2013


The county’s port authority was established in 2011. It wasn’t until recently that the five member board was chosen to activate the board on a regular basis after being dormant for two years.    

The county does things differently than the City Commissioners when choosing members to be appointed to a board. The City Commissioners invite the public to submit their names and then the commissioners would appoint from the submitted names so it doesn’t take on the appearance that they were hand-picked. There didn’t seem to be any notices posted for selection of the port’s board members.  I understand that the members needed to have a certain background in business; however, there are many talented people who could have volunteered for the positions.

Where is the seed money coming from to support the port’s loans and the director’s salary when the county’s budget has been restrained?  The county had to increase the sales tax just to gain revenue.  Is it a coincidence that the port authority was activated right after raising the sales tax?  The county has funded about $7,000 of its own money into the port authority, but more money will be needed for a fully functioning port. As yet, the county has not informed the public where the finances will be coming from to support the port, especially, when the port authority might be expected to support a $90 million runway at NASA.  

A port  director has been hired on an hourly basis but no contract has been executed as yet. The director will be serving other port authorities, so it looks like the county will be sharing the position for now.

Until next week, it remains to be seen what achievements the port hopes to accomplish and how much it will all cost the taxpayer to get started.      


The Bizness

Sharon, instead of just posing questions how about you give answers. You have some decent questions today, but as usual it just sounds like you are just trolling for an argument.

The board members should be handpicked though so as each political subdivision can hand pick who they want to represent their area, so I think that whole paragraph is a moot point.

T. A. Schwanger



From my vantage point, Ms. Johnson blogs are geared toward getting people to think and make their own conclusions on government business. Ms. Johnson appears to answer her concerns via her own words. Reading not too far between the lines, Ms. Johnson suggests as terms of Port Authority members expire, the Port Authority or County Commission should advertise upcoming board openings.


A runway the size everyone is talking about at NASA would cost a heck of a lot more than $90 million. In fact the runway would be out of the jurisdiction of the Port Authority. That's like saying NYC and Jersey PA are in charge of McGwire AFB.

The Bizness

She doesn't care, she just throws out opinions without any basis in reality.


On Port Authorities and such I've dealt with Paul Toth and those clowns in Toledo since I started in this business. Sandusky has no need for a Port Authority. Talk about waste of money.


A quasi-governmental agency with the potential to levy more taxes! It is usually self supported. Would this be "non fluff"?

Mr. Sorry I'm N...

Hi Sharon,
Your article reads, "port authority might be expected to support a 90 million dollar runway at NASA." Just wondering if this is why there is a letter online from Martin P. Wargo, PWS, Dep. of the Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo, NY to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Columbus, Ohio where Mr. Wargo wrote "respectfully request that no public hearing be scheduled....unless" with regards to the dredging of Sandusky Bay? Think many here would have been interested in this kind of thing. Did not see a public notice on this. Notices for the public to comment on projects need to be advertised much, much better.

Is the bay being dredged routinely, or for both wind turbine parts and runway materials for NASA PBS? Thought the EIS was not completed yet for NASA's wind farm. It seems irrational to put a runway and 500 foot wind turbines in the same area--and, within a couple miles of a school. Weren't turbines denied in the past in Huron around Rye Beach Road near the college because there was already a runway close by?

Still thinking & could it be that Commissioners may compromise residents near Milan/Avery, Bogart Road and Rt.250 by possibly trading a wind farm at NASA for a runway there? NASA's ridiculously high turbines will be 6.6 times taller than the turbines that were at Perkins High School. (And 25 turbines are not needed for Plum Brook's own renewable energy requirement. They only need 2-3 turbines if all other NASA centers in the nation took the responsibility to create their own renewable energy and get it on the grid in whatever state the energy is produced.)

A wind farm is not necessary in Erie County with our great birds and beauty. Ohio's largest solar farm, PSEG Wyandot Solar Farm, in Wyandot County, Ohio is a 12-megawatt facility with 159,000 ground-mounted panels on 80 acres. Just think of the megawatts if panels were installed on NASA Plum Brook's "underutilized" 2000 acres. The solar panels were made in Perrysburg and installed by Ohioans. Forget wind turbines made outside of Ohio,or America,lets get jobs right here in Ohio by requesting that NASA do that environmental impact statement for a solar farm at Plum Brook that was requested of them three years ago. I would drive with anyone from Erie County or NASA PBS to look at the PSEG Solar Farm in Wyandot County. I'd be happy to pay for the gas.

Students preparing for their lives at EHOVE and the low frequency noise from industrial turbines seem like a bad combination. Didn't NASA study low frequency noise? Didn't the US military study low frequency noise to be used as armaments? Don't want to take an evening course at EHOVE if the low frequency noise is wafting in from an industrial wind complex. Allowable setbacks by law may have been lacking in the low frequency noise studies. And then, the potential runway would be even closer to EHOVE and Mason Road. Yoga classes at EHOVE would not seem as relaxing.

Hope there are at least two people on the port authority board-D and R-from south central Erie County-to represent those who may be impacted the most by the port authority's new endeavor(s).

With all due respect, the decisions over the years have not been good for all residents of Erie County. Certain areas of the county seem like sacrifice zones. Other areas get the flowers and new walls to greet people.

T. A. Schwanger