Lo­rain, Ver­mil­ion seek funds for projects

Plans in works for pier, for­mer mu­seum

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - FRONT PAGE - By Richard Pay­erchin rpay­erchin@morn­ingjour­nal.com @MJ_Jour­nalRick on Twit­ter

Plan­ners of two wa­ter­front projects in Lo­rain and Ver­mil­ion hope state leg­is­la­tors can pro­vide fi­nan­cial help for the im­prove­ments.

Sun­set Pier in Lo­rain and the for­mer In­land Seas Mar­itime Mu­seum plan­ners con­firmed they are seek­ing money for those projects in Ohio’s next two-year Cap­i­tal Bud­get.

In Colum­bus, law­mak­ers are work­ing on that spend­ing plan, which has not been ap­proved yet.

Project plan­ners ac­knowl­edged

there will be com­pe­ti­tion among re­quests for state fund­ing, so money is not guar­an­teed.

In Septem­ber 2017, Lo­rain Ro­tary Club, work­ing with the Lo­rain Pol­ish Fish­er­men’s Club, un­veiled plans for a $12 mil­lion Sun­set Pier.

It would ex­tend 800 feet into Lake Erie from the west end of Lo­rain’s Lake­view Park.

“It’s go­ing to be a phe­nom­e­nal project,” said Rob Le­vit, one of the Ro­tary Club mem­bers who has served as co-leader for the pier project.

Le­vit thanked state Rep. Nathan Man­ning and state Sen. Gayle Man­ning for their in­ter­est so far.

The project has re­ceived pos­i­tive re­ac­tions from state re­view­ers, he said, and Lo­rain Ro­tary has reached out to Gov. John Ka­sich about the project.

“The tim­ing is im­por­tant, and I’m hop­ing this will be of in­ter­est to them,” Le­vit said.

With the Broad­way streetscape and other projects, Lo­rain has de­vel­oped pos­i­tive mo­men­tum, he said.

Adding the pier is a ben­e­fit for the com­mu­nity, not just one per­son or small group, Le­vit said.

“This is for the public; that’s all we ex­pect to get out of it,” he said. “Some­thing for the public, some­thing for the city, some­thing with the ele­ment of re­birth.”

There was no stated limit on this type re­quest, Le­vit said, so project plan­ners asked for the en­tire cost.

“And why not? They would be in­vest­ing in their state,” Le­vit said about the state law­mak­ers and reg­u­la­tors in Colum­bus.

Mar­itime mu­seum in Ver­mil­ion

On Feb. 12, Ver­mil­ion City Coun­cil ap­proved a res­o­lu­tion of sup­port for the city cap­i­tal re­quest of $1.24 mil­lion to­ward the mar­itime mu­seum.

It has be­come known as the Har­bour View Beach Project.

In De­cem­ber, Ver­mil­ion’s Parks and Re­cre­ation Board voted for de­mo­li­tion as the pre­ferred op­tion for the for­mer In­land Seas Mar­itime Mu­seum, which is the Wake­field House and a 1960s ad­di­tion.

Park board mem­bers agreed the for­mer mu­seum at 480 Main St. is a city land­mark next to Main Street Beach, but a new fa­cil­ity would be cheaper to main­tain and of­fer greater re­turn in the long run.

Based on that rec­om­men­da­tion, re­tired Mayor Eileen Bu­lan fol­lowed up with a cap­i­tal bud­get re­quest sent to state Sen. Randy Gard­ner and state Rep. Steve Arndt.

This week, Mayor Jim Forthofer fol­lowed up with a let­ter to Gard­ner out­lin­ing ben­e­fits of the project.

The re­de­vel­oped park and gath­er­ing space would in­crease public ac­cess to Lake Erie and could be­come the city’s sig­na­ture park, Forthofer said.

Ver­mil­ion City Coun­cil also heard from Jonathon Logue, who led the Wake­field House De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee for the city parks board last year.

The project name, Har­bour View Beach Project, is based on an ear­lier his­tor­i­cal name of the Wake­field House, Logue said.

MORN­ING JOUR­NAL FILE

This model shows the shore­line end of the Sun­set Pier pro­posed for the west end of the beach at Lake­view Park in Lo­rain.

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