2009-04-18 / News

Buckeye Lake awards water system construction contract

By Scott Rawdon

BUCKEYE LAKE - Stillion Brothers Excavating will build Buckeye Lake's public water distribution system. Stillion submitted the lowest bid at just over $3.31 million. The highest bid was submitted by Speer Brothers at more than $4.76 million.

Mayor Frank Foster said engineers from M•E Companies- the engineering firm designing the distribution system - recommended the lowest bidder after reviewing the company's record. He said construction would likely begin on opposite ends of the village and two crews of roughly nine people each would work toward the center.

Foster said Monday that the Buckeye Lake Estates trailer park signed up for public water and most of the businesses in town had done the same. Foster said Buckeye Lake Estates will add 130 users to the system and will not be on a master water meter. This raises the total customers to 1,221; the village's goal was 900 customers.

Foster said a soil study at the water tower site is firmer than originally thought, and the tower's base will require less concrete than expected. "We don't have an exact number on the deduct for the water tower because we're not yet in contract," he said, adding he anticipates the village will save more than $50,000 when the water tower is built. The soil test cost $4,500.

Foster said he believes Buckeye Lake's water distribution system is one of the top projects in Ohio to receive federal stimulus money. It's "shovel ready," meaning work can start very soon, and the Ohio EPA strongly supports the project. He said he may know Friday if the village will receive federal stimulus money.

Director of Development Valerie Hans said Millersport, which will supply bulk water to the Village of Buckeye Lake, would begin building its supply line to the village at the same time the village begins its distribution system. She estimates the distribution system will be complete June 2010.

Council members discussed having a distribution system groundbreaking ceremony June 2009.

In other village news:

• Kenneth Kempton, CEO of LEADS Community Action Agency of Licking County said as of September 2009, the LEADS Head Start program will no longer provide bus service to Buckeye Lake. He said Wednesday between rising transportation costs and the tightening economy, there's no federal funding for transportation. Kempton said Licking County LEADS is only providing bus service to Buckeye Lake and Utica, and both will be discontinued by September. "We've been reducing (transportation) for a number of years," he said. Kempton said LEADS programs in general are eliminating transportation simply because they can no longer afford to provide it.

• Hans said she and police captain James Hanzey filled out the paperwork for a Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS grant, which, if the village receives it, would pay all expenses for an additional officer for three years, and the recipient must agree to keep the officer on the force for an additional year. It's valued at roughly $125,000. Hans said she should know in a couple months if the village would receive a COPS grant.

• Council President Charlene Hayden said the village is looking for grant money to build a walking trail through the village's well field, which is west of the village on Ohio 79 near the Buckeye Lake Estates.

• Hans said residents are encouraged to read the Ohio EPA's regulations regarding open burning. Ohio EPA brochures are available at the village office.

Zoning Inspector Rod Riley said residents should contact the village or the fire department before doing any open burning.

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