Waterfront restaurant coming to Buckeye Lake
BUCKEYE LAKE – Buckeye Lake Village Council member Shelly Small announced her resignation during Monday night’s meeting, only days into a new term. She said her family is moving to Hebron. She didn’t seek reelection in November, but then sought to fill the remaining two years on Drew Bourne’s term. Bourne left the area for a new job in West Virginia last summer.
Applications for the vacancy will be accepted until Jan. 31, and a decision may be reached during the Feb. 22 council meeting, if not sooner. Council members will consider applications from Bourne’s son, Joshua, and resident Margaret Tobin, who also sought to fill Bourne’s seat. New Mayor Rick Baker said former Buckeye Lake Mayor Frank Foster is also interested in the council position.
Council member Hilde Hildebrandt was ready to appoint Foster to the position immediately, but other council members wanted all candidates to go through the full application process, and to give more people a chance to apply for the position.
“It is with great sadness that I must resign my council seat as of Jan. 31. My husband has bought us a home, but it is not in Buckeye Lake. It is in Hebron,” said Small in her resignation letter. She served on council for six years.
Council members unanimously renamed council member Charlene Hayden to another term as council president. Committee chairs are:
• Finance - Hildebrandt;
• Public Safety - Clay Carroll; • Public Service - Kaye Hartman; Priceless
• Community Development - Jeryne Peterson;
• Personnel - Donna Thompson; and
• Rules - Small
Thompson said council should consider creating a handbook to explain each committee chair’s duties so new chairs aren’t forced to learn everything on the job.
In other council news:
• Director of Development Valerie Hans expects five or six derelict houses to be removed by March through a county program. Baker said ridding the community of uninhabitable homes was an important part of his campaign for mayor, and “we’re off to a very good start,” he said. Baker said he has a list of 40 vacant houses he wants removed.
• Baker said Eric Mason, who owns the Grill on 21st Street restaurant in Newark, plans to build the Grill on the Lake in Buckeye Lake Village. “It looks like it’s going to be a great project,” said Baker. He said the proposed $2 million restaurant would serve “hamburgers to lobster” and offer casual dining.
“It’s in the final architectural stages,” said Mason Tuesday, who expects to break ground on the project in late March or early April. He said Garry McAnally, principal with Wachtel & McAnally Architects/ Planners, Inc., who designed the condos near the North Shore Boat Ramp, is also designing the restaurant, which Mason said would be in Nantucket style.
Mason said the restaurant will be on the water, near the North Shore Boat Ramp, with a second story banquet facility featuring a patio overlooking the water. He expects to have 125-seat capacity on the first floor with seating for 150 more in an outdoor patio. Docks and carry out will be available. The menu will resemble the Grill on 21st Street, but offer more seafood selections, Mason said. The restaurant would be open year round.
“I’m excited about it,” said Mason, who grew up at Buckeye Lake.
• Buckeye Lake Water Tech Toby Miller gave a written progress report of the village’s public water distribution system. According to his report, the overall project is 90 percent complete with the booster station at 99 percent, , the distribution system at 97 percent, and the water tower at 80 percent.
Miller said in his report that he expects the public water system to be operational March 1, although village clerk Tim Matheny, who formerly was Newark’s service director, said although the system itself may be ready to go, it may be a little longer before billing and other operational details are functional.
Hans said Licking County Community Development Specialist Beth Jones is taking applications from low to moderate income residents requesting financial help to connect their homes to the distribution system. Hans said the limit is “extremely generous,” and Jones will be in town occasionally to help residents learn if they qualify. Hans said residents can apply at the Licking County Administration Building during its office hours.
Thompson said during Monday night’s meeting that she believes Miller’s water tech position should’ve been advertised instead of appointed. “No reflection against (Miller),” she said. Any other water department positions should be advertised, said Thompson.