At the Vermilion Parks & Recreation Board meeting of November 19, 2019, the board discussed the Harbor View Project. The Harbor View Project Subcommittee has recommended complete demolition of existing buildings, and landscaping the hillside to include an amphitheater, pavilion, and walkways to and from Main Street Beach westward. Main Street is to be expanded to double street parking with a center island and drop-off loop.
The Subcommittee determined there is a need for increased parking and public restrooms. It recommended no commercial activity should take place on the property. Impervious surface in any redevelopment should not exceed the current square footage (.6 acres for the museum and present parking lot). They should not create a venue that competes with existing rental/catering businesses in town.
The anticipated costs are approximately $2 million, compared to the $3 million estimate to restore the mansion and tear down the 1960's addition and landscape.
It was recommended to partner with Western Reserve Land Conservancy to manage the project, secure grant funding and private donations, and handle all paperwork and legal matters. The Subcommittee recommended raising funds from outside grants and private donations for the demolition and redevelopment. Any use of existing structures should be self-sustaining financially.
Participants in the Subcommittee included Jim Forthofer, Frank Loucka, Terry Parker, Brad Scholtz, Betsy Wakefield, Peter Corogin, Eileen Bulan, Judy Kernell, Marilou Suzsko, Margaret Wakefield Worcester, Beth Eberhard, Jeff Riddel, Jim Chapple, Joanne Howley, Dana Corogin, and Tom Bodde.
Chair Parker shared a concept drawing for purposes of fundraising for the Main Street Beach Revitalization Project, which encompasses the beach and the museum property. In working to partner with Western Reserve Land Conservancy, which is in process, their legal team and the city's law director are reviewing a proposed Memorandum of Understanding. If they receive approval of both, he thought City Council would need to ratify it. He said in order to begin fundraising and to get input from the community, the Subcommittee recommended the adoption of this concept.
Vice-Chair Scholtz conveyed that Western Reserve would like the board to provide renderings for the pavilion and the reimaging of the pump house, so he requested not to exceed $7,500 to do drawings for the two buildings. Parker said they have paid the architect fees to date from the carryover donations of the purchase of the museum, and this fund came from the fact that some of the foundations that donated to the purchase came in over a couple of years, so the purchase was complete, and money was still coming in. They have used the fund to purchase architectural services, and they have a caretaker that is being paid a stipend monthly to keep the grass mowed and keep an eye on the property. There is probably $25,000 or so left in the fund, which is under the direction of the Parks Board.
Board Member Keck moved, and Member Warden seconded, to approve the concept plan for fundraising purposes, for grant applications, and approaching major donors. The board voted unanimously to approve the concept.
Board Member Wakefield moved, and Member Keck seconded, to approve not to exceed $7,500 for specific renderings for the pavilion, and the reimaging of the pump house from the museum donation fund. The board voted unanimously in approval.
(Approximately $148,000 per year generated by the Levy assuming current balance of $105,000)