2007-07-28 / News

Police officespace to shrink?

By Scott Rawdon

West Bank residents lost water pressure for about six hours July 19 after a water main broke near Ballard Lane. Mike Bergum, of the Millersport Water Department, said water service was shut off between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. as a leaking elbow was replaced. Beacon photo by Scott Rawdon. West Bank residents lost water pressure for about six hours July 19 after a water main broke near Ballard Lane. Mike Bergum, of the Millersport Water Department, said water service was shut off between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. as a leaking elbow was replaced. Beacon photo by Scott Rawdon. BUCKEYE LAKE- Will the Buckeye Lake Police Department's extra space be short lived?

Last summer, the department officeexpanded into the villageowned storefront next door to it to provide privacy to conduct interviews and more room to store evidence. While all Buckeye Lake Village Council members agreed the department needed the space, some were concerned about the $600 per month the village is losing by not renting the storefront to a private tenant.

Monday night, council member Hilde Hildebrandt, who was acting council president in the absence of President Charlene Hayden and Pro Temp John Cortez, suggested containing the police department in the officespace next to the Village Officesand renting out the rest of the space to a private tenant. The village, she said, needs the income.

Council member Drew Bourne said the police department space was expanded to keep congestion down in the police station, which was very crowded when limited to the single storefront.

Hildebrandt said the village isn't passing operating levies and needs to make changes.

Police Captain James Hanzey said there's no evidence space left and the Licking County Prosecutor may cite the village for having insufficient evidence storage. Also, "People have a reasonable expectation of privacy" when issuing statements or being interviewed. "It makes no sense to take that space away," he said.

Hildebrandt said she hasn't seen anyone using the space for interviews. Hanzey reiterated that the space is necessary.

Foster was clear Tuesday that there are no set plans to change anything right now, and the coun- cil discussion was to review the space and see if any changes can or need to be made.

In other council news:

• Council member Shelly Schwarz said "for the record" that she wouldn't attend any more safety committee meetings called by Cortez because, she said, he's absent from the meetings. Cortez chairs the safety committee.

Mayor Frank Foster suggested giving Cortez another committee. Council members decided to give Cortez chairmanship of the community development committee and council member Jim Bartoe took over the safety committee.

Council members are allowed to miss no more than three consecutive village council meetings and no more than seven council meetings annually, per the Buckeye Lake Village Charter.

As of Monday's meeting, so far this year Hayden has missed two meetings, Cortez has missed seven, Hildebrandt has missed three, Bartoe and Bourne have perfect attendance, Schwarz has missed three, and council member Jeryne Peterson has missed two.

• Foster said the Hebron Village Council formally agreed to continue negotiations with Buckeye Lake to provide it with public water; the Village of Buckeye Lake has a public sewer system but has never had a public water system. Foster said the village is not in formal negotiations with Millersport. Michael Carder, president of GGC Engineering - a firmthat provides engineering services to Millersport - suggested that Millersport is a contender to supply Buckeye Lake with public water since it, like Hebron, is upgrading its public water treatment facilities. Foster said he'll meet with GGC, but will not play Millersport against Hebron. Formally, he'll work with one village at a time.

While the Village of Buckeye Lake still has plans to build a village-operated water plant, council members have said they will not rule out the possibility of contracting for public water service with an outside source, such as Hebron or Millersport.

• Foster said "within a week or so" the village should receive suggested design changes for a proposed bridge on Hunts Landing Road to cross a feeder canal that would be dug to supply water and boat access to the Landings At Maple Bay, a 78-unit condominium development located on the southwest side of Hunts Landing Road in the Village of Buckeye Lake. The development's plans include a man-made canal, and harbor, a marina with boat slips, a boat storage area, and a clubhouse with a pool.

Residents near the proposed Hunts Landing Road bridge, particularly Cranberry Pointe residents, believe its 7.5 percent grade is too steep. By comparison, boat ramps are generally at a 14 percent grade. The bridge's design review may include a significantlyreduced grade.

• Council approved legislation to ask the Licking County Auditor to determine the dollar amount that would be generated by a five-mill Buckeye Lake Fire Department replacement levy. The current five-year, five-mill levy was passed in 2003 and expires in 2008. Residential and agricultural property owners are currently being charged 3.3 mills. Voter approval would increase the rate to the original 5 mills.

• Council is considering legislation to negotiate exaction fees--a requirement placed on developers to help supply or finance the construction of public facilities or amenities, such as infrastructure, parks, or schools, made necessary by a proposed development--on a case by case basis. The proposed legislation allows the Buckeye Lake Planning Commission to deny an application if the developer refuses to reach an agreement with the village regarding what the exaction fee should be.

• Resident Irvin Small asked if any council members knew of anyone who owns a fishing net. He wants to use the net to trap a mallard duck whose legs are tangled in fishing line. He said he's been feeding the ailing duck for a while, but would like to physically remove the fishing line, if possible.

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