2009-06-27 / News

Streetlights to stay on

By Scott Rawdon

BUCKEYE LAKE - Buckeye Lake Village's 201 streetlights will not go dark after June 30.

Council members reversed their decision last month to turn off the streetlights June 30 after voters turned down a levy earmarked for the light.. Residents rejected a one-mill operating levy in May, 82 to 91 against. Instead, council agreed to operate the streetlights at least until November, when the levy will reappear on the ballot. If it fails this November, then the streetlights will be shut off indefinitely.

Mayor Frank Foster said there would be roughly $1,000 left in the streetlight operation account if the lights were turned off and associated charges for doing so were paid. "This is less than one month's bill," he said. "If the levy does not pass (in November) then we'll be confident the residents don't want to pay for them and we'll be forced to turn them off."

Council member Drew Bourne asked council members if they were willing to reverse the June 30 shut down date since many residents said they opposed shutting off the streetlights and they said the ballot never stated the levy was specifically for the streetlights; state law prohibits the ballot from doing so.

All council members agreed to extend the shut off date to November.

Resident Kay Hartman told council she was happy to hear the lights will stay on longer. "We have what a lot of communities wish they had," she said - new construction, specifically. Hartman said she believes it's important for the streetlight levy to return to the ballot and extremely important for it to pass. She said many people had no idea they were voting rejecting funding for streetlights, and she encouraged council members to go into the community and educate people about the levy. "Fight on, and keep the lights on," she said.

In other council news:

• Foster asked council to approve creating a committee to discuss possibly forming a fire district with Hebron. He said Hebron Mayor Clifford Mason suggested that the idea is worth discussing and Foster agrees.

"Why anyone would be opposed to discussing something that has the potential to benefit the residents we serve is exactly the same attitude that has caused it to take 20 years to get public water," said Foster. He said he doesn't know enough about fire districts to be for or against one, but he believes it's important to discuss the pros and cons before deciding whether it's a good idea.

Council members Jim Bartoe and Donna Thompson voted against forming a committee to discuss a fire district, the rest voted in favor.

Buckeye Lake Fire Department member Arleta Ruton asked if the discussions had anything to do with an ongoing disagreement between the Hebron Fire Department and Union Township Trustees about distribution of EMS billing revenue.

"All we're talking about is what's available," said Foster.

Tuesday, Mason said the Hebron Village Council approved creating a committee to explore a fire district. "We believe that this is in the best interest of the communities," he said. "I don't want us to continue to duplicate services." Mason said Union Township Trustees, who have been in a contract dispute with the Hebron Fire Department since the beginning of the year, would be "welcomed with open arms" into any discussions between Hebron and Buckeye Lake.

• Council President Charlene Hayden said people are still speeding through Cranberry Bay. "It's getting to the point where it's dangerous back there," she said. Foster assured her that the village police would concentrate speed enforcement efforts on Anchors Way and the rest of Cranberry Bay.

• Foster gave proclamations to the members of the Lakewood Lady Lancers softball team and coaching staff, who achieved two state championships in a row. Foster said the remarkable team would be honored before the Ohio General Assembly on Wednesday.

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