2008-12-13 / News

Water system bids out this month

By Scott Rawdon

BUCKEYE LAKE - The Village of Buckeye Lake is almost ready to seek construction bids for its long awaited public water system.

Plans and specifications should go out for bid this month, Buckeye Lake Mayor Frank Foster told council members at their Dec. 8 meeting. Bids will be due in January. After review by village officials and its engineering consultant - M•E Companies - Foster expects the contract to construct the distribution system, including a water storage tower, to be awarded in February or early March.

Kevin Wood, M•E Companies vice president, said construction could begin as early as late March. "We're on the verge," he said, adding that the plans for the distribution system are just about finalized. Wood hopes to advertise for bids before Christmas, and advertise for about five weeks. The main thing the village is tackling now, said Wood, is to secure all the easements necessary so construction and maintenance crews can cross properties when necessary.

Millersport Council member Dave Levacy said Millersport is ready to supply Buckeye Lake with water. Its new 1.0 million gallon per day treatment was recently dedicated and it is on line. Some initial startup problems with discolored water have been resolved. Levacy said the water looks "extremely good."

Millersport now has a fulltime water superintendent. John Wood had been holding the job on a part-time basis, but he is now giving up his position with Fairfield County Utilies Department. Wood has worked in the field since 1974 and hold the highest class water supply license from Ohio EPA and will soon hold the highest waste water license as well. He is being paid $60,000 per year.

Foster said Wednesday that he estimates more than 500 Buckeye Lake customers have signed up for public water, including just a few businesses. Foster said the businesses are taking longer for several reasons - more complex hookup issues, business owners often aren't the property owner and a longer approval process.

"I am unaware of any businesses that have said no," he said. He believes most are just working through their evaluation and approval processes.

Foster added that a flyer will be enclosed with the monthly sewer bill to make sure absentee landowners are aware of the pending public water system.

In other council news:

• Council member Shelly Small asked if the village could help clear two trees that fell on a Union Street property. While council members sympathized, they agreed that trees falling on private property are the responsibility of the landowner.

• Zoning Inspector Rod Riley told council he wishes residents would be better about clearly displaying house numbers. Many are hard to read and some homes don't display them at all. Often, homes receive new siding or a new coat of paint and the owner forgets to replace the house numbers. Riley said it could be a safety issue if an EMS squad can't locate the house because its number is not displayed.

• Resident Kay Allen asked council why village road crews are distributing road salt with a pick-up truck, then scraping it off with the snowplow. She added that the plow's large mirrors prevent it from navigating some of the narrow village streets and it's sometimes forced to travel the wrong way on one-way streets. "Somebody's going to get it," she said.

Foster said he'd look into the situation.

• Foster said he appointed resident Crystal Davis to the village parks commission. He's looking for more volunteers, particularly for the village charter review commission.

• Council President Charlene Hayden said only one child attended the police department's Nov. 29 Safe Kids Child Identification Program at the Village Offices.

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