Perrysburg unveils riverfront makeover project

Residents of Perrysburg saw a glimpse into what their city may look like after a $26 million face-lift project.

Perrysburg residents packed City Council chambers as officials from the Harley Ellis Devereaux design company of Southfield, MI unveiled a 103-page master plan to improve the cityâ??s downtown economy and highlight the landscape around the Maumee River.

â??This is a chance for the public to see what has been proposed,â?? said Perrysburg Mayor Nelson Evans. He added, â??These are ideas that wonâ??t necessarily happen but they can happen.â??

The long-term plan would remodel every city park to accommodate restaurants, entertainment options, and even ice skating surfaces in the winter. Evans says a scenic walkway and bike trail is paramount to the project. The trail would connect Ft. Meigs, Orleans, Riverside and Hood Parks.

Other improvements would include a boardwalk that extends out over the Maumee River, and expanded marinas to favor boat traffic. However, some residents were skeptical of the impact the project could have to the surrounding natural habitat.

â??The breakwall I was concerned about that, and I found out they havenâ??t even done any research on how that would affect the flow of the river,â?? said Perrysburg resident Kathy Briggs. She added, â??Weâ??ll just have to see how it goes.â??

Others are concerned that the plan recommends relocating the Hood Park statue of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry to make room for improvements.

"To pick it up just so we can get a view of the river, all theyâ??re doing is giving destruction to what Perrysburg stands for," said Juan Artiaga.

Evans says the city will review input from residents and discuss funding options before the project moves forward.