Debate Tuesday night over the proposed downtown Perrysburg renovation plan got heated and lasted more than two hours at a meeting that packed the municipal building, though no resolution was reached.
The beautification project calls for a roundabout at Front Street and Louisiana Avenue, which would feature the statue of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry in the middle. It also calls for creation of a median on Louisiana Avenue.
Council President John Kevern, who opposes the project, refused to make a motion to bring the issue to the floor. He said he’s never received so many calls and emails from residents opposing an issue, while he believes he can count the number of project supporters on his hands.
Although most of the residents and business owners who spoke Tuesday were not in favor of the plan, some were.
“I think this will bring more people to downtown Perrysburg and the design is in taste with Perrysburg,” said Perrysburg resident Sabrina Weaver.
Others suggested the city’s administration take the $2.3 million it expects to borrow for the project and spend it instead to improve Perrysburg’s roads, its water supply, or the fire department.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” said Phillip Dombey, owner of Dombey and Hart Law Firm on Second Street. “If we are going to go into debt it should be for the roads that need repaved.”
Most councilmen said they want to see something done but not exactly as laid out by the city administration. Councilmen asked for more meetings to help develop something the community can get behind. Mayor Mike Olmstead said the plan can be amended.
The mayor said the administration would revisit the proposal Wednesday morning. The administration may bring a revised proposal to council at its next meeting.
Councilmen Jim Matuszak was not in favor of the plan.
“The merchants are not in favor,” he said. “The government has to look to its customers to see what they want, you can’t tell them what they need and tell them what they want.”