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Erosion at Bill Stanton Community Park in Madison Township to be addressed

Andrews Cass | The News-Herald

There’s been 10 to 15 feet of erosion at Bill Stanton Community Park this year alone, Madison Township Trustee Ken Gauntner said.

Through a partnership with the Lake County Ohio Port and Economic Development Authority, the township is working on a project that will address the shore loss.

At its most recent meeting, the port authority approved grant agreements with the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources that will makes $785,000 available for the shoreline enhancement project.

Peter Zahirsky, the port’s director of coastal development, said the park’s land has a very high-pressure water table, which causes blowouts and slumping on the face of the bluff above the lake. The displaced soil slides to the bottom of the bluff and is then washed away.

To address this, the bluff will be re-sloped at a shallower angle and a drainage system will be installed to divert the ground water. The plan also will incorporate a path from the top of the bluff down to the foot of the hill.

ODOT is providing $491,000, which comes from the Federal Highway Administration allocation that originally was used to purchase the park. ODNR is providing $294,000 from a capital budget allocation made by the state legislature last year.

Zahirsky said they’re putting out a request for engineering services on the project this week.

“The timeline engineering process is lengthy because of the nature of the work, but also because $491,000 comes through ODOT, so they have two 30-day review periods built into the process,” he said. “So we’re looking at about a 120-day design period, but once that’s all done and we finalize our plans we’ll have a good sense of what the overall magnitude of project is, but we should be able to be under construction by the beginning of April.”

He added they’re planning to award the construction contract by March 28, 2018, but it might be a little sooner if they “can move the design process along.”

The 32.8-acre park at 5585 Chapel Road is one of the largest lakefront parks in the county, Zahirsky said. The park has a .2-mile shore, according to ODNR.

Bill Stanton Community Park is a former Catholic Diocese camp purchased in 1998 through a federal grant secured by the late U.S. Rep. Steve LaTourette. The park is managed by Madison Township.

Gauntner said he’s appreciative of the cooperative agreement between the township and the port authority.

Madison Township Administrator Tim Brown said in a statement he’s pleased to see the project moving forward.

“We look forward to seeing the results of this transformative project,” Brown said.