Perry Township has taken an important step in its quest to prevent further erosion of property behind one of the community's most historic houses.
Trustees recently approved a contract with an Elyria-based engineering firm to design an erosion-control project involving land behind the Parmly Mansion, located at the northern end of Perry Park Road.
KS Associates will develop a plan to mitigate the erosion of a bluff overlooking Lake Erie in the back yard of the Parmly Mansion, which also is known as the Lorimer House.
Perry Township purchased the home in 2002. But township government leaders have not been able to find a developer willing to buy and restore the house, which today sits vacant and dilapidated.
However, the township has secured funding to curb the steady and significant rate of shoreline erosion on the northern side of the Parmly Mansion property.
In December of last year, the township was awarded $200,000 for the shoreline improvement project as part of the new Ohio capital budget bill. State Rep. Jamie Callender, R-Concord Township, played a pivotal role in securing that funding, said township Administrator Karen Sundy.
As a starting point for the project, township trustees earlier this month entered into a contract with KS Associates for $32,200. The agreement calls for the firm to design an erosion-control plan, assist the township with seeking bids from contractors, and possibly provide construction-phase services, such as supervising the project, Sundy said.
Perry Township will use a portion of its allocation from the state-capital bill to pay KS Associates for its services.
Sundy added that the construction project likely will involve grading and re-sloping the bluff behind the the mansion at a shallower angle and installation of armor stone to absorb and dissipate the energy of Lake Erie waves.
The house was built in 1834 by Jehiel Parmly, a prominent dentist. William Lorimer bought the brick federal-style home in 1918, and developed the property into Camp Roosevelt for Boys.
Lorimer's son, Bill, purchased the camp from his father in 1946. He sold the mansion and 20.5 acres of surrounding land to Perry Township for $840,000 in 2002. The deal included allowing him to remain in the home until his death, in 2012.