Water Q&A session set
BUCKEYE LAKE - Buckeye Lake residents and business owners have oceans of questions about the coming public water distribution system.
M•E Companies Vice President Kevin Wood hopes to answer most of them during a public forum starting at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 15 in the social hall at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church on Ohio 79.
"We'll stay as long as we need to," Wood told Buckeye Lake Village Council Monday night. He said other M•E Companies representatives - from the Westerville based engineering firm designing the village's public water distribution system - would attend the meeting to help answer questions about the water system.
Millersport will supply the village with bulk treated water, but the village needs to build its own distribution system. Wood said a fact sheet will be distributed to tell people what to expect and outline their responsibilities. Also, Wood said the meeting will break into four groups where residents wanting to tie onto the water distribution system can talk to M•E engineers about the best way to attach their home to the nearest water supply line with the least amount of work possible; homeowners are responsible for installing the pipe between their homes and the nearest village water line.
"Hopefully, this (forum) will answer a lot of questions," he said.
Wood mentioned a public survey circulating through the village. Completing the survey does not commit a homeowner to tying onto the village water system, but it helps M•E Companies determine how each house will attach to the village system. Wood was clear that anything decided at the forum isn't "set in stone," and if it looks like a change needs to be made once the distribution system is actually in the ground, it's no problem. "During construction, changes can be made," he said.
Village officials asked residents and business owners to return the survey to the Village Offices by Monday, Sept. 29. Surveys are available at several Buckeye Lake Village locations, including the village offices and The Beacon office.
Wood said the village should begin seeking construction bids in November or December, and the village should know much of the grant funding it will receive by the beginning of 2009. Wood said the village is on track to begin construction in March and it should take a year to complete the work. "We're pleased with the progress of things," he said.
Wood added that no water can flow through the system until the whole thing is built, including fire hydrants. He said the village is responsible for water quality once it flows across the Buckeye Lake Village limits, and the village will need to test the water regularly. "You have to meet the same EPA limits as anyone else," said Wood.
In other council news:
• Council member Jim Bartoe said he's receiving complaints of junk vehicles and high weeds on several properties around the village. A "junk" vehicle is unlicensed and not operable. Bartoe said so far he has counted 31 junk vehicles, which he reported to the police. At least seven were removed, he said, and the owners of the rest were notified. "I'll cover the rest of town at another time," he said.
• Arletta "Cricket" Ruton resigned from the Buckeye Lake Planning Commission after two years of service, saying a new work schedule won't allow her to continue to serve. Resident Rick Baker replaces her.
• Council voted unanimously not to allow two small lots on Cliff Street to be rezoned to accommodate mobile homes. Council's decision was in agreement with the Buckeye Lake Planning Commission's recommendation. Director of Development Valerie Hans said the lots' neighbors were "very candid" in their opposition to the zoning change. She said the village zoning code is very clear about where mobile homes are appropriate. The owner of the Cliff Street lots has the option to take the issue to Licking County Common Pleas Court if desired.
• Council President Charlene Hayden said Albanese's IGA owner Joe Albanese is sponsoring a motivational presentation on Saturday, Sept. 20. According to a news release, the Village of Buckeye Lake Parks and Recreation Commission invites everyone to attend a free presentation from Rosemarie Rossetti, who became paraplegic after a tree fell on her while she was riding a bicycle on the Granville bike trail. Rossetti - a speaker, trainer, consultant, author, and Ms. Wheelchair Ohio 2004 - will present her inspirational program, "Just Like Riding a Bike." She will discuss coping with change, dealing with adversity, achieving goals, and taking charge of life.
The presentation is at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Buckeye Lake Eagles on Ohio 79. There is no admission charge.
• Council member Drew Bourne asked why Police Chief Ron Small's police SUV is parked at Small's home while the chief recovers from surgery. Foster said he believes the cruiser is safer from vandalism at Small's home than it would be parked behind the station.
• Council member Donna Thompson asked who's responsible for maintaining the village's traffic lights, adding that some are becoming pretty dusty and not as bright as they could be. ODOT District 5 spokeswoman Kate Stickle said ODOT is responsible to maintain traffic lights on state routes outside of municipalities. "If it is inside the corporation limits, the village is responsible for them," she said.
• Resident George Braden said people using the skate park at Ryan Park are parking their vehicles where they shouldn't and blocking people who rent the Buckeye Lake Youth Association's building for private functions. Braden said some people using the skate park become belligerent when asked to move their vehicles.
Foster said the village should post the parking area so vehicles can be towed if necessary. Resident Ethyl Braden said she hates to be forced to do that because "some of them are good kids, but something must be done."
George Braden added that the bike park is becoming "a rowdy place" where kids are using foul language and smoking.
"If you think that's bad, get on a school bus and listen to them," said Thompson.