2009-08-08 / Front Page

The Big Dig

Buckeye Lake water system progressing smoothly
by Scott Rawdon

BUCKEYE LAKE - Torn up streets and flowerbeds don't bother Anchors Way resident Kellie Green. "You're going to deal with the inconvenience for the water," she said. Nearly 30 years after its incorporation, the Village of Buckeye Lake is installing a public water distribution system. The neighboring Village of Millersport is supplying bulk water. Buckeye Lake residents will endure ditches along the village's narrow streets and lots of dirt and dust for the next year before the streets can be repaved at the end of the project. Busy work crews are burying water lines that temporarily block roads and driveways, but so far, many residents like Joan Ford, who lives close to Green on Anchors Way Road, don't really seem to care.

"It has not been any inconvenience," said Ford, who added she worked for 20 years to help bring public water to the Village of Buckeye Lake.

Mayor Frank Foster said the massive $7 million public water distribution project is going smoothly. Water lines are installed on Worth Drive, Mill Dam Road, St Rt. 360, Fairoaks, Rosebraugh Circle, Cottage Street, East Street and North Bank Road from Cottage to 360, East St. Water lines are currently being installed through Cranberry Bay. "Although we are hopeful that we will beat the scheduled completion date, the contractor has until June 2010," to finish, said Foster, who added that the project remains on budget and he doesn't foresee any significant unexpected costs. He said he believes Millersport goes to bid with its part of the project this month; Millersport is installing a pipe from its water plant to the Buckeye Lake distribution system. "The line they are running is a fairly simple project and should only take a few months to complete," said Foster.

Developers are taking notice. "I can say that there have been multiple inquiries that I believe are serious," he said. "I am unable to get into specifics as these situations are often very delicate."

Foster said the residents of Buckeye Lake are weathering the inconvenience of having their streets ripped apart. "The distribution system contractor, Stillion Brothers, has been extremely accommodating and has really handled residents concerns very quickly," he said, adding that the contractor hasn't run into anything unexpected.

"I think that the water system will have a significant impact on the Village," said Foster. "As a result I think we will see changes as well." During the next few years, he predicts Buckeye Lake property values will increase as demand for the area increases and he expects more pride will be taken in individual property maintenance as values increase. "I think the area around the I-70 and 79 interchange will see commercial development providing residents with employment, shopping, and dining opportunities and the village government with additional tax base," he said.

Green said the only real inconvenience is work crews being forced to dig up landscaping and flowerbeds to accommodate the pipes, but even that, she said, is no major deal. Green said Stillion Brothers offered to repair the landscaping and is trying to minimize damage. "It's okay," she said. "I'll replace the plants."

Photos by Peggy Wells Photos by Peggy Wells

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