2009-12-05 / News

Buckeye Lake water project ahead of schedule

By Scott Rawdon

BUCKEYE LAKE – The good news is most of Buckeye Lake Village’s water distribution system is now buried; the bad news is village streets will be rough and muddy until spring.

A near capacity crowd filled the social hall at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church Nov. 24 to get updated on the Buckeye Lake’s public water distribution project. Most of the distribution system is installed, but the waterlines won’t be pressure tested until next April or May. Village streets will not be repaved until the pressure test is complete and any leaks have been repaired.

Buckeye Lake Village, project engineer M•E Companies, and Ohio Rural Community Assistance Program representatives fielded questions from the audience.

• Buckeye Lake Mayor Frank Foster expects the minimum bill to be close to $32 per month and include 2,000 gallons of water. This is $10 less per month than originally estimated and includes 500 more gallons of water per month.

• Foster said Millersport could raise its rates about one and a half years after water begins flowing. However, Millersport customers will experience any rate hike Buckeye Lake experiences equally.

• The pre-assessment on village property tax bills will end at the end of next year. All system loans are for 20 years. The largest loan is zero percent interest, and the smallest loan is the only one with interest.

• Buckeye Lake owns the distribution system and will operate it like any other public utility– the village will handle billing and collection plus maintain the distribution system. “Your water bill will probably never go down,” said Foster, but it may not raise quickly if the system is managed correctly and the village attracts development.

• M•E Companies engineer Randy Stoll said the project is way ahead of schedule. The distribution waterlines were supposed to be installed by May 2010, but most are in now. He said Millersport is currently installing a 12-inch diameter water line from near the Feeder Creek Veterinary Hospital to Buckeye Lake’s distribution system, which should be complete by February 2010. Buckeye Lake’s water tower, currently under construction near Mill Dam Road, should be complete in January 2010 and will resemble a large lighthouse.

• Foster said village streets will be dirt covered until spring, and residents should call the Village Office with any road complaints until then. He said the village can repair the damage the project caused to privately owned streets, like those in the Carlin Addition and the trailer parks, but the village cannot completely mill and repave private streets. “We don’t own those roads,” said Foster.

He said the village and water system contractor Stillion Brothers will continue to maintain the streets through the winter.

• Billing begins when the water meters start recording usage, said Foster. The meters will be fully automatic and there will be no meter readers. The meter reading system can also detect leaks.

• Fire hydrants won’t be metered. Water usage for fire suppression will be factored over all users. “It’s the price of doing business,” said Service Director Tim Matheny. “We don’t send the fire victim a bill.”

• Foster said the village plans to have lawns damaged by the waterline installation from the installation graded by the end of the year, so they can be seeded in spring.

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