Earlier this year a group of volunteer business owners and residents gathered to organize what is now the Oak Harbor Downtown Implementation Committee. The goal of the committee is to revitalize the downtown area by bolstering the existing economic base and identifying opportunities that will attract and accommodate future investment. Over the past several months, the committee focused on how to organize and create the necessary amenities such as atmosphere, land use, marketing and branding to draw people back into Oak Harbor’s downtown district.
It was decided that the first step in the revitalization was to spruce up the heart of downtown by improving the streetscape. Plans were designed and 13 new benches, 30 flowerpots and 17 trash receptacles in a Victorian motif have been ordered. “Our goal is to receive sponsorships for as many of these items as possible through donations, featuring a plaque recognition program,” explained Mike Shadoan of Radiant Windows and Chairman of the Committee. The program would display a plaque with the sponsor’s name placed on the item, recognizing their commitment to the community.
National Bank of Ohio donated $2,500 to this phase of the revitalization project. “We want to help make Oak Harbor attractive and continue to be proud of where we work and live. Putting Oak Harbor on the map as a nice clean community benefits us all,” quoted Gary Macko, President and CEO of NBOH.
NBOH is just one of many who are helping to defray the costs in the downtown revitalization. “We would like to complete phase one by the spring of 2013, or by our July 4 celebrations at the latest,” Shadoan shared optimistically. The partnership and commitment of local individuals and company sponsors, such as NBOH, will allow the committee to achieve this goal and advance their plans. Ongoing plans include a second phase of the beautification process which would consist of decorative poles with banners, bicycle racks and trees; while the third phase would be focused on the development along the riverfront area.
Forms for those interested in supporting the Oak Harbor Downtown Revitalization Implementation Committee are available at the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce office. The implementation of this plan is expected to take between five and twenty years, depending on public response. To review more information about the Oak Harbor downtown revitalization plan, please visit www.oakharbor.oh.us, or contact Mike Shadoan at Radiant Windows/419.706-6034, or Valerie Winterfield at the Oak Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce at 419-898-0479.
NBOH-Your Community Bank has been in business since 1934 and is an independently-owned provider of financial services to businesses and consumers. Currently, NBOH operates full service banking offices in Oak Harbor, Curtice, Port Clinton and Oregon; along with loan production offices in Perrysburg and Fremont.