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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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Oregon officials are discussing relocating Bay Shore Road as part of the planned improvements to the South Shore Veterans Park.

At the city’s last Recreation and Parks Committee meeting, relocating the road was at the top of the list of improvements to the park area.

“Maybe it’s one of the earliest things we should decide,” said City Administrator Mike Beazley. “Do we relocate the road, or leave the road as it is? The reason that we might relocate the road is that some have said we want to make more of the park to be on the water, and have less of an obstacle between people who use and enjoy the park and getting to the water. So before we look at anything else, should we leave the road alone, or move the road?”

It would cost $650,000 to relocate the road, according to a preliminary cost estimate, though the city hasn’t conducted engineering costs of the project, said Beazley.

Other realignment proposals were deemed too costly, said Mayor Mike Seferian.

Taking the road back to Eagle’s Landing had too many obstacles to overcome, said Seferian. “With this, we felt we would be on budget to do something for 2018,” he said.

The current Bay Shore Road would be used as a trail for better access to the lake. “It would be narrowed down to be an access trail,” said Beazley.

Fire station
“As we look at this question of whether to relocate the road,” said Beazley, “the second question kind of meshes with that. One of the things we’re looking at is moving a fire station that would be at that site as well. Some believe those questions go together, some don’t. But we want that out there.”

“If there was a fire station there, it would have restroom facilities,” said Seferian. It would also provide a sense of security and presence that might deter people with “bad intentions,” he added.

“There would kind of be a city presence in the park all the time,” said Beazley.

A fire study conducted by the city last year showed, among other things, the need to improve response times to 911 calls, in addition to new fire stations.

“We are looking at our fire stations and the best places to locate them to enhance service,” said Beazley. “We believe we can enhance, and improve response times, independent of whatever happens to the park, by moving one of our fire stations over to this area. At the same time, we believe, as long as we’re going to build a building, we can also make a shelter house, with restrooms accessible from the outside instead of just relying on Port a Johns. Or we could look at a community space. Those are all possibilities. We’re exploring that. It’s one of the things that is under consideration.” A new fire station would be located at the corner of Wynn Road that would include additional parking.

Findings of the fire study last year showed that some of the stations are outdated.

“Some of our fire stations are somewhat old,” said Seferian. “They don’t fit new fire trucks. We have to order our fire trucks special so they can fit in. So there is going to be a date in which we’re going to have to update them. This may be a place. If we did build something there, it would have a multi-functional use.”

“When we looked at our response time in the study, one of the things it told us is that our volunteer firefighters tend to live in the South Shore Park neighborhood,” he said. In responding to calls, those firefighters first go to Fire Station 3 near Harbor View before going out on the run, he said.

“We have the sense that a better location for that fire station would improve response times in Oregon,” said Beazley.


Passive park
Besides relocating the road, other proposals for the park include an area for sand volleyball, a splash pad, a swimming area, a seasonal dock, a gazebo, and a sandy beach area.

The 33-acre South Shore Veterans Memorial Park is mostly a passive use park. Beazley said it would remain that way.

“The objective is to still have it remain an overwhelmingly passive use park – a place for people to go out and get near the water. We think we can help make it more enjoyable for that because it’s just been the sort of place where we don’t think we’ve done as good a job of taking care of in the past and can bring a focus to that,” he said.

He emphasized that the proposals for the park are not written in stone, and could change due to input from the public, particularly stakeholders living near the park.

“There’s a reasonable difference of opinion about what’s the best for the park. Maybe one person wants to be able to ice skate, while someone else wants to play pickle ball, and maybe someone else wants neither one. That’s ok. That’s why we want to get input and get ideas. This is not the last of these sessions we’re going to have,” he said.

“We’re looking to get some information, do some planning and design during this year, get some understanding on the price of some options,” he added. “We have some very rough numbers on the cost of some things and will help us make some decisions on the budget that we’ll pass next December. So that’s our plan. We might decide these are things we can’t afford now, but want to plan for in the future. “

 

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