Buckeye Lake approves Millersport water contract
BUCKEYE LAKE - Buckeye Lake Village Council unanimously approved an ordinance authorizing the village to acquire public water from the Village of Millersport.
"We made a historic decision tonight," said Mayor Frank Foster following the vote during a special meeting Monday night. The next step is for Millersport Village Council to adopt a similar ordinance.
Millersport council member Dave Levacy foresees no problems. "They want (the water) and we want to sell it to them," he said. "It's just a matter of passing the legislation to enact it." Unless Buckeye Lake officials request an earlier passage, Levacy expects Millersport council to vote on its ordinance at its next regular council meeting, set for Tuesday, May 13. He expects his fellow council members to vote positively.
The Buckeye Lake ordinance was adopted as an emergency, which means it is not subject to a public referendum. In other words, it is not subject to a petition to put it on the ballot.
Director of Development Valerie Hans said adopting it as an emergency also helps the village meet application deadlines for grants and government assistance. She believes he village will qualify for grant assistance. Council members can and did suspend the three reading rule to approve the ordinance.
Buckeye Lake Village Council member Jeryne Peterson issued the following statement: "The quality of life for many of our residents will be enhanced by providing good, clean, and safe water for them to use in their everyday lives. As of now, many of our residents cannot drink the water and in some cases I have been told that their water is not even safe for their pets in their homes."
Peterson continued, "Development and expansion will come into our village as we will be able to furnish one of God's most precious commodities - water. Many large companies and developers have looked at coming to our community but turned away when they discovered that we had no public water, only wells. Most of the wells in the village are very shallow and receive run-off from the surrounding fields. This is a huge environmental issue, which is being addressed by many concerned people around the world.
"It is said that water will be the next oil as global shortages develop. We are constantly seeking new and better ways to get our water and keep it pure and safe. I am proud to say that we, too, are getting involved and doing something about this much needed commodity," said Peterson.
Hans said that for now the village's priority is to explore as much government funding as possible and to wait to hear back from the grant sources to which the village has already applied.
The Village of Buckeye Lake was incorporated in 1980. The village area has had public sewer since the 1950s, but the village has never had public water, forcing residents to use private wells. Monday night's action comes after 28 years of debate whether the village should purchase treated water from an outside source like Millersport, Hebron, or Licking County, or build a village operated treatment plant. Buckeye Lake will build and maintain its own distribution system.