2009-07-18 / News

Street light levy on Nov. ballot

By Scott Rawdon

BUCKEYE LAKE - Voters will have another chance to keep Buckeye Lake Village lit at night as Buckeye Lake Village Council members voted to place a onemill levy on the November ballot solely for the purpose of operating, maintaining, and possibly adding streetlights.

Monday night, council member Drew Bourne said a onehalf mill levy might cover the electricity needed to operate the village's 201 streetlights, but he said there would be additional maintenance costs. Also, he said the village might expand as a public water system is installed, and need more lights. And, there are "dark spots" in the village that could use additional streetlights.

Council members unanimously agreed the levy should be for one mill. Council came under fire earlier for announcing that the village's streetlights would be shut down indefinitely June 30 because voters narrowly defeated the levy in May.

Many residents complained that they didn't realize they were voting to turn off the lights when they turned down the levy; according to state law, the ballot couldn't directly state the levy was solely for streetlight operation.

Bourne asked if council should pass a resolution stating the revenue will only be used toward streetlights. Village Clerk Tim Matheny said Tuesday the village solicitor is reviewing the necessity of such a resolution and how best to approach it.

Voters will also be asked to renew a three mill police levy in November.

In other council news:

• Buckeye Lake Parks and Recreation Commission members attended Monday night's council meeting to show council their plans for a nature trail through the village's 20-acre well field south of the village along Ohio 79. The village is currently installing a distribution system for public water, but Millersport will supply the water. However, commission members said their plans for the well field would not interfere with tapping it, should village officials ever decide to build a village-operated water treatment plant,

Commission members said they are seeking at least three government grants to create walking trails and observation decks through the swampy well field property.

"We're very excited about this project," said committee chair Marianne Perine.

Council President Charlene Hayden thanked commission members for working on the park with a "zero budget."

• Buckeye Lake Charter Review Commission Chair Annetta Macedonia told council that the commission won't have any proposed charter revisions for this November's ballot. The only possible change was to a charter clause requiring that village employees live within the village; Police Chief Ron Small plans to move from the village while retaining his position. Macedonia said the Supreme Court of Ohio recently decided that residency requirements are unconstitutional, so a charter change to accomdate Small isn't necessary.

• Council member Jeryne Peterson said she's waiting for Small to give her some possible days when Licking County sheriff's deputies can visit the village to discuss creating neighborhood crime watch programs.

• M•E Companies representative Jack Christy said the village made a payment of $355,000 to cover invoices from M•E Companies, the engineering firm designing the village's pubic water distribution system, and Stillion Brothers, the contractor installing the system.

• Resident Charlotte Basnett said Cranberry Bay residents are "coping" with installation of the distribution system along the neighborhood's narrow streets. She said the contractor told her that residents shouldn't install a service line to connect their homes to the distribution system until the system is complete, which is nearly a year away. Basnett said she heard installing the service lines will cost residents $500 to $900 per household, depending upon who's doing the work and if installation requires underground boring, which is more expensive.

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