Street lights will stay on
BUCKEYE LAKE - Streets in Buckeye Lake Village will remain lit at night for at least another year, said Buckeye Lake Village Council member Drew Bourne during the Nov. 10 council meeting.
A 0.8 mill current operations renewal levy on the Nov. 4 ballot was rejected by a 509 to 439 vote. Bourne, during the Nov. 10 council meeting, said the village's general fund had enough money to operate streetlights for a year, but it's important to place the levy back on the ballot as soon as possible and make certain everyone knows it's for the streetlights. The ballot language has to state the levy is for current operations.
Council member Hilde Hildebrandt added during the Nov. 24 meeting that the village's street light fund has $41,500, which is good for a year, as Bourne predicted the previous meeting. Hildebrandt said it costs about $1,500 per month to power the village's streetlights, which is a flat rate - the fee is still the same, regardless of the lights being on or off.
Voters also rejected by a much wider margin an additional 2.5 milll for the police department. Bourne said Nov. 11 that the village's police department may be disbanded in a year if a new levy isn't approved. However, Council Clerk Tim Matheny said the department would lose half its income, but didn't agree it would necessarily disband.
Bourne said both levies will likely be placed on the May 2009 ballot.
Hildebrandt said the village police department wasn't manned for 85 hours from Sept. 20 through Oct. 31. It's important to note, however, that the Licking County Sheriff's Office, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, and the Union Township Police also patrol the village at various times. Council didn't discuss what cuts, if any, the police department will experience following the levy's failure.
"How are we going to like living with no street lights and no police?" asked resident Kay Allen. "We'll have a lot of crime going on."
In other council news:
• Bourne said he and Mayor Frank Foster traveled the village's streets earlier and marked the spots needing to be patched; the streets will not receive a complete coat of asphalt until after the new public water lines are installed next year.
The village received a bid from Sherlock Asphalt and Sealing to complete the patching work for $12,552 and a bid from Neff Paving for $16,178. However, Neff Paving offered to patch 1,823 more square feet than Sherlock, meaning that Neff's average price per square foot of paving is $0.13 less than Sherlock's average price per square foot. Bourne said Foster asked council to approve Neff Paving's bid. It was approved unanimously.
• The village still needs more members for its charter review committee, which, as its name implies, will review the Buckeye Lake Village Charter and recommend any necessary changes. Council President Charlene Hayden the committee needs some members who are familiar with the charter and the some members of village commissions may be asked to serve, but the review commission needs some "new blood" from the community. Anyone interested in joining the committee should contact the Village Offices.
Hayden added that Marianne Perine is chair of the Parks and Recreation Commission, which meets the first Tuesday of each month, 6 p.m. Planning Commission meetings follow at 7:30 p.m.
• Director of Development Valerie Hans said she's heard from nearly half the village businesses and most want public water. She said at this point nearly 400 customers have signed up for public water and many more are pending. The village agreed to purchase bulk water from Millersport and the village plans to install a distribution system next year. Signing up 900 customers is the village's goal.
• At council's Nov. 24 meeting, Bourne said the village should consider creating crosswalks across Ohio 79, since a long asphalt sidewalk is nearing completion. He said a crosswalk could be useful near the post office, among other places.
Council member Donna Thompson said she was worried children may assume that traffic will automatically stop for them if they cross Ohio 79 on a crosswalk.
Foster suggested holding a meeting to discuss crosswalk options, including "don't walk" lights, if possible.
• Hayden said the police department is sponsoring another Safe Kids Child Identification Program Nov. 29 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Village Offices. Officers will prepare McGruff Safe Kids Total Identification System DNA kits and fingerprinting kits for local children. The DNA samples and fingerprint cards will be given to parents to keep in a safe place should the child ever be missing or need to be identified.