GENEVA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ohio — This year, Township Park in Geneva-on-the-Lake lost 35 feet of real estate in just one week alone. Last year, we’re told 100 feet was lost.
Village Administrator Jeremy Schaffer says Lake Erie is to blame. He says what used to be a beach decades ago is no more.
“Lake Erie, every 10 years or so, it rises and drops, I think right now we're 24 inches above the long-term December average,” Shaffer said. “When it rises, just beats the heck out of the shoreline. Constant erosion.”
Schaffer says Lake Erie’s high-water levels and refusal to freeze so far this year is putting private properties and the village's infrastructure in danger.
“We have critical infrastructure there, which is water line, sewer lines, drainage all right there at that corner ad it was falling in the lake.” He explained. “We're talking for the average homeowner or even the township park. Around $700 a foot is the average pricing for erosion control and repair.”
But a light at the end of the shoreline has finally arrived. Work on Geneva Township Park’s erosion protection is finished after months of waiting. Schaffer says permanent outfalls will be installed in the spring.
“There's going to be great public access in the future and it'll definitely help protect the park and the whole corner for years to come.”
The village approved a contract to complete the project in September. The project was estimated to cost around $1 million. The Ohio Public Works Commission is paying for part of the project through a $400,000 grant. The village is footing the rest of the bill through a recent 1.25-mill five-year levy it passed.
According to the Star Beacon, the village is hoping to start a comprehensive shoreline plan, Schaffer said. The plan would cost around $40,000.