2008-11-01 / News

Village signs up 248 water customers so far

By Scott Rawdon

BUCKEYE LAKE - Don't get any ideas; it's not for everyone.

Buckeye Lake Mayor Frank Foster was clear during Monday night's Buckeye Lake Village Council meeting that a wood chipper the village is renting to clear debris from along the village streets isn't for use to clean up private property. The village is still clearing storm damage from Hurricane Ike and some trees were cut down since the storm. Foster said the chipper is costly to rent and he's worried people are going to kick their loose branches to the curb, hoping the village will dispose of them.

"We're not going to go onto private property and chip private trees," he said.

"Private citizens can't place their limbs in the road and expect the village to chip them," said Zoning Inspector Rod Riley.

In a related issue, Riley said that while it's not nearly as bad as it used to be, the village still has some houses with health and safety violations, some caused by Ike. Riley said he's trying to speed the process of solving the violations, but it takes time.

"We're trying to negotiate with people," said Riley Wednesday. In some cases, houses with violations, such as those with fire damage, remain in violation for a while until the owner resolves insurance issues. "Those insurance companies are six to eight weeks behind," he said. The village tries not to bring in the Licking County Health Department until absolutely necessary, Riley said, adding that the village would rather resolve violations itself in a "common sense" manner and as quickly as possible. "We'd like to see it go faster, but how?" he said.

Licking County Health Commissioner Joseph Ebel said the health department can always step in when a house is surrounded with trash and poses a health hazard to people around it. It's tougher, he said, if the health hazard is inside the home. Unless the community has laws to allow the health department to enter a home, the health department can't do so unless the house presents a danger to anyone inside of it, as would be the case for an abandoned home.

In other council news:

• Council members said the Buckeye Lake Police Department's Safe Kids Child Identification Program was successful. Another is planned for Nov. 29. Saturday, the police department prepared McGruff Safe Kids Total Identification System DNA kits and fingerprinting kits for local children. The DNA samples and fingerprint cards were given to parents to keep in a safe place should the child ever be missing or need to be identified.

Council member Jim Bartoe said 43 children attended.

"We had them from three months old to 13 years old," said auxiliary officer Vicky Glover, who was one of the officers participating in the program. She said some of the younger kids were tough to fingerprint. "They wanted to play in the ink," she said.

Glover said the police department could use donations for the Nov. 29 program and thanked Albanese IGA, Catfish Charley's, Creno's Pizza, Lakeside Diner, McDonald's, Pizza Cottage, Subway, Taco Bell, Wendy's and Valero for contributing to Saturday's program.

Council President Charlene Hayden thanked Capt. James Hanzey and resident Charlotte Basnet for organizing the program. Basnet suggested organizing a "Safety Town" program for children preparing for kindergarten.

• Director of Development Valerie Hans said 248 residences and businesses have signed up for public water service. The village plans to purchase bulk water from Millersport and begin construction of its distribution system early next year. Residents and businesses that sign up before the distribution system is buried will save a tap fee that could be as much as $5,000.

Hans said the village may receive up to $100,000 from the Army Corps of Engineers toward the public water system. The money is in addition to the $201,000 earmark that former Congressman Bob Ney obtained for the village. The earmark came from a Army Corps administered program.

Council member Donna Thompson asked if the village is sponsoring another water system question and answer meeting. The most recent meeting took place just after Hurricane Ike hit, which may have discouraged some people from coming.

Foster said he's working "more one on one" with individuals and their questions. He is at the village offices one hour before each council meeting to meet with people. However, he said if people want another forum, the village may sponsor one in mid-November.

Sign-up sessions are also set for Monday, Nov. 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Monday, Nov. 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Questions can also be directed to Hans at 928-7100 or by email at bldevelopment@ roadrunner.com.

• The village is accepting resumes through November from residents interested in serving on a charter review commission. The group will read through the Buckeye Lake Village Charter and recommend changes. Any changes must be placed before village voters for their approval. Those wishing to join the commission should apply at the village office.

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