Millersport may sell water to Buckeye Lake
BUCKEYE LAKE- Could the third try be the charm for Millersport to provide public water to the Village of Buckeye Lake? Even as Buckeye Lake negotiates for public water with Hebron, Michael Carder, president of GGC Engineering - the firmthat provides engineering services for Millersport - sent a letter to Buckeye Lake Mayor Frank Foster, asking him to consider using Millersport as a source.
"I would like to request Buckeye Lake once again consider obtaining water from Millersport," said Carder in his letter. "The new Millersport water treatment plant is now approximately 40 percent complete and we are looking forward to plant start-up this fall.
"Also," he continued, "engineering design and bidding documents have been completed for a new 10" water line that would extend service very close to the Buckeye Lake corporation limits. The drawings were approved by the Ohio EPA last October with the first phase of the project be offered for bid later this month (June). The remaining two phases could be offered for bid and installed by the end of the year.
"Installation of the 10" line would virtually eliminate the volume limitation that was of concern to Buckeye Lake during our discussions in 2005. The proposed waterline could easily convey up to 1 million gallons per day if needed," Carder wrote.
Buckeye Lake Village, which was incorporated in 1980, has never had public water; village residents rely on wells. Buckeye Lake and Millersport unsuccessfully negotiated a water contract several years ahead of the second attempt in 2005.
"Last I heard, Millersport didn't want to talk to anyone," said Buckeye Lake Council member Jim Bartoe during Monday night's Buckeye Lake Village Council meeting. He added that were Buckeye Lake to receive water from Millersport, a water line wouldn't need to be installed beneath I-70, as would be necessary if Hebron supplies Buckeye Lake with public water.
Council member Drew Bourne said that Millersport had lots of restrictions - such as a 6" water line that could only provide Buckeye Lake with a bare minimum supply of water - when the village negotiated with Millersport two years ago, but a 10" water line may make an offer from Millersport more attractive.
"We'll see if they can give us a better deal than the last time," said Council President Charlene Hayden. "I think this is pretty good news."
Council member Shelly Schwarz said she'd like for council to reenter discussions with Millersport, along with Hebron.
Foster was absent from Monday night's meeting and was unavailable for comment afterward.
Millersport council member Dave Levacy said he'd do "whatever is in the best interest of the people of Millersport." As of Tuesday, he said if supplying water to the Village of Buckeye Lake is in the best interest of Millersport, he'd support it.
Hebron Village Administrator Mike McFarland doubts Millersport's interest in supplying Buckeye Lake would affect negotiations with Hebron, although "I would not dream to advise Buckeye Lake what to do," he said. McFarland added that Hebron council members are still in the process of determining whether to make Buckeye Lake an offer. "Council is still considering the issue," he said.
In other council news:
+ Resident Leman Robey told council that juveniles are swimming and "skinny dipping" at Crystal Beach in the middle of the night. He thought the village had a curfew for minors and wondered why it wasn't being enforced. Robey said he lives near the beach and the moonlight swimmers are noisy, keeping him awake at night. "We can't get no sleep over there. We're getting real tired of it," he said.
Council Clerk Tim Matheny said prosecution of minors is handled by Licking County juvenile authorities, not the Buckeye Lake Police.
Buckeye Lake State Park Manager Tim Waln said the state park is responsible for keeping Crystal Beach free of nocturnal activity, even though it's within Buckeye Lake Village. "It's our property, our lake, and we need to manage it," he said, adding that park law enforcement will look into the situation.
Matheny said Tuesday that within the village, curfews are as follows: juveniles under 14 years old may not loiter outside between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.; 14 and 15 year olds are restricted between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.; and 16 and 17 year olds are restricted between midnight and 5 a.m.
+ Resident Charlotte Basnet said the Buckeye Lake Historical Society's bog tour attracted about 600 tourists to the unique bog last weekend. "It's a very positive thing for Buckeye Lake," she said. Basnet's concerned, though, that tourists going to the North Shore Boat Ramp for the bog tour are greeted by houses with boarded windows and front lawns with junk. "What can be done?" she said. "I don't see anyplace else (around the lake) that looks like this."
+ Council member Drew Bourne said the village ordered two 4' by 4' signs, at $365 each, which will commemorate SR 79, between the "S-curve" near the North Shore Boat Ramp and Milldam Road, as Charles Slater Blvd., named for Buckeye Lake's late first mayor. Formal Hebron Road addresses along that stretch of SR 79 will not change as a result of the new signs. The post officewill still recognize it as Hebron Road.
+ The Summer Lunch Program is back, Tuesdays through Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. to noon at the Waters Edge facility on Ohio 79. There will also be games and activities. The program is free to youths 18 and under. Call (740) 928-7100 for more information.