2008-10-18 / News

Historical museum to expand

By Scott Rawdon

BUCKEYE LAKE - Who says there's ever too much of a good thing? The Buckeye Lake Museum will celebrate a groundbreaking for its expansion Sunday, Oct. 19, 1 p.m.

At Monday night's Buckeye Lake Village Council meeting, museum director J-me Braig invited council members to the groundbreaking. "We're really, really excited about it," she said.

Braig said the front wall will be knocked out to accommodate an atrium to hold the old "rocket ship," which was part of a ride at the old Buckeye Lake Amusement Park. There will also be a twostory addition on the back of the existing museum.

Braig explained the expansion, called Phase Three, is made possible through a generous bequest from Fairfield Beach resident Norma Dixon, who is ill and told Braig she is looking for a place to store her large collection of dolls, figurine bears, and Native American artifacts. Braig said the collection "overwhelmed" the museum board members. The collection is so massive it will require the expansion of the museum to hold it. Dixon raised $30,000 through selling some of her land and donated the money to the museum so it may begin the improvements.

The two-story addition will be called the Bard & Dixon Family Building and will hold Dixon's entire collection, including Steiff and Hermann bears, and Madame Alexander's rare Little Woman Collection dolls from all over the world.

Braig added that the Buckeye Lake Historical Society's Queen of the Lake II "has done quite well this year." She said nearly 7,000 people enjoyed the boat tours this summer, and the tours continue through October.

"You've done a terrific job out there," council member Drew Bourne said to Braig.

In other council news: • Director of Development Valerie Hans said about 150 people have committed in writing to public water and nearly 200 committed verbally, so far. She said the village office staff is staying busy with people asking questions about the system and committing to it. In fact, the office has been so busy that evening hours - 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. - have been added on the second and fourth Mondays of the month, or in other words, one hour before each village council meeting.

Mayor Frank Foster said he would be in the office then to answer questions.

Foster said he's in discussions with Leisure Village management, hoping to supply water to the village's largest mobile home park. Foster said he has yet to talk to a village business owner who flatly refuses public water. The village's goal is 900 users on the public water system, which should be operational in 2010. Millersport will supply bulk water to the village, and construction should begin on Buckeye Lake's distribution system early next year.

Hans said she would provide water user agreements to anyone who wants one, via email, mail, or fax. "I've heard nothing but great responses from the businesses," she said.

Foster said some businesses he thought would resist public water are interested. He believes waiving the tap fee for businesses and residents who sign on before the distribution system is installed has interested interest. Otherwise, those who wait to sign on could pay a tap fee as high as $5,000.

• Resident Charlotte Basnett said she would send a letter to the editor to The Beacon, discussing the upcoming additional 2.5 mill police levy. She said currently, the Buckeye Lake Police Department has five officers - three full-time and two part-time. Operating the department costs about $217,000 per year and the current levy generates $101,000 per year, leaving $116,000 to come from the General Fund. Passage of the 2.5 mill levy in November would return the department to 24-hour police protection. The department currently does not offer 24-hour protection, but the Licking County Sheriff's Office, Union Township police, and the Ohio Highway State Patrol also occasionally patrol the village and answer calls when needed.

With an additional 2.5 mill levy, a homeowner would pay $76.82 more per year, per $100,000 value of the home, or $38.41 per year on a $50,000 home.

• Buckeye Lake Police will conduct a free Safe Kids child identification program for children up to 18 years old Saturday, Oct. 25, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Village Offices. Saliva and hair samples, and fingerprints will be taken for each child. The samples and fingerprint card will be given to parents to keep in a safe place.

• Foster appointed Marianne Perine to the Buckeye Lake Parks and Recreation Commission. She and resident Annette Macedonia replaced former members Toby and Missy Miller. "I have a lot of ideas," said Perine.

• Foster said an ambulance for the Buckeye Lake Fire Department cost $1924.29 more than expected. Council agreed to appropriate that amount. Council Clerk Tim Matheny said small items like lettering accounted for the extra cost.

• Beggar's Night is Friday, Oct. 31, 5 to 7:30 p.m. Beggar's Night was supposed to be Thursday, Oct. 30, which is in line with the neighboring communities, but there was an error somewhere and many people were told it would be Oct. 31. Council members decided to stick with Oct. 31 this year, but it will likely be during a weeknight next year, as usual.

• Zoning Inspector Rod Riley said the Buckeye Lake Fire Department Association is sponsoring a car show at the Buckeye Lake KOA campground Sunday, Oct. 19, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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