2007-06-16 / News

Buckeye Lake hopeful about water deal

By Scott Rawdon

BUCKEYE LAKE- Buckeye Lake Council members are cautiously optimistic about the possibility of contracting with the Village of Hebron for public water.

"It seems like it would be a win, win for each of us," said Council President Charlene Hayden during Monday night's council meeting. She said the village administration's current strategy is to continue moving ahead with plans for a Buckeye Lake village operated public water system, unless contracting with Hebron is cheaper. Hayden "has her fingers crossed" however, that something can be worked out with Hebron. Buckeye Lake Village, which was incorporated in 1980, has never had public water; village residents rely on wells.

Resident Charlotte Basnett said she was encouraged by May 29 meeting at the Hebron Village Council Chamber between Hebron, Buckeye Lake, and Licking County officials, and Ohio EPA representatives, where discussion began about Hebron possibly providing water to Buckeye Lake. "They (Hebron) need us as much as we need them," she said. Basnett also asked council not to "fiddle-faddle" for months before deciding whether to contract with Hebron. "It would be really beneficialto both sides," she said. "We should hurry the process; I'm sick of my well."

Council member Shelly Schwarz agreed. She said earlier in the meeting that she didn't want to see negotiations with Hebron drug out over a long period of time. "I'll go to a meeting every day if I have to," she said.

Council member Hilde Hildebrandt reminded that the ultimate decision rests with the Hebron Village Council.

Hebron Village Council President Annelle Porter said Wednesday morning that her council hasn't even had a chance to discuss the situation yet, nor have any of the individual committees discussed the possibility of providing public water to Buckeye Lake Village. Porter believes it's "way too early" for council members to predict how any negotiations will proceed. The Hebron council was to meet Wednesday night.

The Village of Hebron recently completed a water treatment plant expansion based on 20-year projections. Its water plant capacity is 2.2 million gallons per day. Hebron's daily demand, including the up-to 120,000 gallons per day sold to Licking County, is about 650,000 gallons per day. Most of the water sold to Licking County is for Harbor Hills. Buckeye Lake estimates it will need 300 - 350,000 gallons a day to serve 800-900 customers.

In other council news:

+ Buckeye Lake council member Jeryne Peterson said she's concerned about those who walk across Hebron Road to get to the North Shore Boat Ramp and Crystal Beach. "There's going to be an incident, mark my words," she said. Peterson believes some sort of crosswalk is necessary.

Council member Drew Bourne said a crosswalk or crosswalk sign near the entrance of the North Shore Boat Ramp may give pedestrians a "false sense of security" and actually add to the danger. He doesn't believe that vehicles rounding the Hebron Road "S-curve" near the entrance to the boat ramp would pay enough attention to a crosswalk or a sign. Pedestrians, assuming traffic will stop for them, may inadvertently walk in front of traffic.

Schwarz suggested requiring all traffic to stop at the S-curve instead of allowing a continuous right turn.

Bourne said Wednesday that the state has several plans for the North Shore Boat Ramp. Buckeye Lake State Park Manager Tim Waln said during the April 27 Full Pool Breakfast that a $500,000 grant will pay for major renovation at the boat ramp. Three launch lanes will be added and the piers between the lanes will be concrete rather than floating docks. A second exit lane will be added from the park so motorists heading north on Hebron Road won't have to wait behind a vehicle trying to turn left to go south.

+ Schwarz said that near the intersection of Union and Monroe streets there is a two-way traffic sign, a one-way traffic sign, and a Do Not Enter sign, all very close to each other. "Right beside the twoway, there's a one-way. At the end of the street there's a Do Not Enter," she said. "It's confusing." The street department will look into the situation.

+ Council member Jim Bartoe asked about the status of signs that will dedicate Hebron Road to Charles Slater, the late first mayor of Buckeye Lake Village. Bourne said Wednesday that council approved street signs and is waiting to receive them. Once Hebron Road is dedicated to Slater, the name change will not affect Hebron Road residents' addresses. As far as the Post Officeis concerned, they will still live on Hebron Road.

+ This weekend is Buckeye Lake Village's community garage sale. Friday through Sunday, village residents are not required to attain a garage sale permit.

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