City Council held a work session on Tuesday to discuss the following items:

1. Expansion of the lodging tax and creation of a transient rental registration program:

In order to expand the lodging tax, Council must first consider a modification to the zoning code to allow for the transient rental of residential properties. Planning Commission recommended that the Council modify the zoning code to allow the use. Council is holding a public hearing on March 10th to welcome input from the community and consider the modification.

If a zoning change were to be approved by Council, two subsequent pieces of legislation would be introduced: (1) expansion of the lodging tax to include transient rentals and (2) an ordinance establishing the policies and procedures for operating a transient rental property in the City.

2. Long-term plan with City Hall

City Council discussed the establishment of a plan for addressing structural and functional deficits of the existing Municipal Complex. The City conducted a facility analysis in 2017 which highlighted hundreds of thousands of dollars of necessary infrastructure repairs and modifications. Beyond structural integrity, the building does not meet the demands for security, technological capacity, and functionality. Council discussed establishing a long-term plan for City Hall and all other City facilities, and the establishment of a capital infrastructure subcommittee to provide guidance on the investment of the City’s capital dollars. Staff will be providing a status update of what’s been done relative to the initial report and conducting a walkthrough of the facility with members of Council. The report will be made available for public review as well.

3. US 6 Corridor Improvements

Phase 1 (Eastern City Limits to Williams): This portion of the project is currently out for bid with a due date of February 21st. The project is anticipated to begin this spring. Once a contractor is selected, the City will advertise the official construction start date. Due to the size and scope of the project, there will be traffic disruption this summer, so please be patient as the project is completed. A future post will include the final design for phase 1 and the proposed design for phase 2.

Phase 2 (Williams St. to Route 2): This project is currently in the design phase. Council has reviewed the current design schematic and intends to schedule a public forum for feedback. Once the date is set for the public forum the City will advertise on its various forms of outreach. This Spring’s edition of the Huron Light newsletter will also feature an article on Phase 2. The project is slated to begin the spring of 2021.

US 6 Corridor Study (Rye Beach Road to Sandusky): The City in partnership with the State, Erie County, City of Sandusky, Perkins Township, and Huron Township participated in the funding of a traffic analysis of US 6 spanning from the Rye Beach Road interchange to Sandusky. The report, which was finalized this month, can be found on the City’s website under the Capital Projects page. The report provides multiple options for the intersections along the corridor. Since this stretch is an integral east/west connection and a US Highway, the State will be leading the project both logistically and financially. The City’s anticipated financial participation would be 5% of improvement costs along the Rye Beach corridor plus any additional gateway enhancements added by the City.