Ever been given a gift and never received it? Ever been promised a gift and then told how you have to use it? That is where the City of Port Clinton is on the gift of the lighthouse.
Sometime ago Mr. Darrell Brand offered to the City of Port Clinton one of the two remaining beacons that guided boaters into the Portage River from Lake Erie. The City Administration and the City Council voted to accept the gift. Then came the contract. The contract stated that the beacon had to be placed at the end of Adams Street, based on a conceptual drawing that had Adams Street come across Perry and through Waterworks Park. The contract mandated that the beacon be placed at the turnaround that was included in the drawing. Since this was a conceptual drawing and the fate of that project was unknown, the City declined and offered to place it at the site of the former Waterworks building. Mr. Brand declined.
Several months later the City was approached by the Lighthouse Conservancy Committee, asking why we did not want this gift. Wanting the beacon has never been the issue, only the placement. Again the City offered the Waterworks building area and were told “no”. Then the committee began having public meetings insinuating that the City did not want the beacon. Nothing is further from the truth. Again, this is about placement.
The Mayor has a review Committee that oversees projects that individuals and groups would like to do for the City. These groups bring their plans; we approve, tweak and at times reject these projects.
The Committee has reviewed this particular project numerous times and has done a great deal of work. The Conservancy has accused us of throwing "red herrings" into the project. The Committee sees these as issues that any city faces when a building is going to be placed on City land. It is the right and the obligation that we look at all the issues that face the City when taking on a project. This one in particular is taking place on a piece of land that is in play for numerous projects, some that have been on the burner for quite some time.
The City committee has asked one thing consistenly from the Lighthouse Committee and that has been time, time to allow us to look at projects on the block and those that may be forth coming and see how the placement of the beacon will affect those. Each time we have been told no, the Lighthouse Committee wants the beacon placed by Labor Day and the City will not guarantee that. Again, each time we have offered the Waterworks building site. The waterworks Building site is build ready, it is in proximity to the River and provides a gateway into the River area.
Have both sides buried their feet in the sand? Yes, they have. However, the beacon is not homeless. It can be taken back to Brand’s Marina.
The City would like to solve this but for us there are only two choices, place it on the property that is willing and waiting or step back and let us put a plan together.
City of Port Clinton Review Committee