It’s time to get connected
BUCKEYE LAKE – Buckeye Lake Village’s new public water system may be operating by April 1– no fooling!
People really need to connect their homes and businesses to the distribution system soon, said Mayor Rick Baker during Monday night’s council meeting. The process involves burying water lines and at least one inspection, which could be hard to schedule if everyone in the village decides to do it at once, he said.
A prediction that the water system would be ready to start moving water March 1 was a little ambitious, said Baker, but there’s real possibility water will flow April 1.
A list of contractors interested in doing connections is available at the village office, but village staff will not make any recommendations nor are they aware of contractors’ qualifications. The list includes Dague’s Construction, Lloyd Purvis Plumbing, Wheeland Plumbing and Drain Service, T & C Construction Services, and Bing Utilities.
Wednesday, Kenny Bing, who owns Bing Utilities, suggested residents call contractors as soon as possible. He’s running an early bird special where he will excavate, install the line, and either abandon the well or place a backflow preventer on wells that property owners want to continue to use, all for $1,100.
Bing anticipates he’ll be installing many connections at once, which means “roughing” the lines into the ground, then connecting to the homes a little later when they’re ready for inspection.
“People need to know that they need to hook on soon,” said council member Donna Thompson Monday night. “There’s not much time.”
Director of Development Valerie Hans said low to moderate income residents who qualify for government assistance to pay for the connection must do everything through Licking County, including choosing a contractor, as a condition for the financial assistance. Baker warned that connecting to the distribution system may be a lengthy process and suggested people start soon.
In other council news:
• Parks and Recreation Commission member Annetta Macedonia said persistence proved to be the key to securing a $10,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation for the Gateway project, which is a landscaped entry to the village near the Ohio 79 and Mill Dam Road intersection. The group working on the Gateway project is called the Community Action Committee, which includes Macedonia, Crystal Davis, council member Clay Carroll, Lindsey Brighton, J-me Braig, and Lisa Bowers.
“We ran into some obstacles,” said Macedonia. Originally ODOT rejected their landscape plan because it didn’t meet ODOT requirements. “We decided we were not going down easy,” said Macedonia. ODOT prohibits the project from having on-site electricity or concrete, and everything must be at least 40 feet from the road. Still, the committee managed to secure the $10,000 ODOT grant once the committee altered its plans to conform to ODOT rules. “Now we’re off and running,” she said.
The committee still needs to raise roughly $3,200 for flags, a village sign, and landscape materials. The $10,000 grant basically covered the cost of the plantings. Macedonia hopes to begin construction in March or April.
• Baker appointed residents Mike Cassidy and Dave George to the Buckeye Lake Planning Commission, and council appointed PetPlex owner, Doug Poorman D.V.M. ODNR watercraft officer Chuck Wadley also applied for the position. “We’ve got two good choices here,” said Council President Charlene Hayden.
Ultimately, council chose Poorman because he’s currently building a large new commercial structure in Buckeye Lake Village and he’s been through the village’s planning process.
Poorman said Wednesday that he hopes to help streamline the village’s zoning approval process, particularly so it requires fewer variances. “I’d like to help the village decide what it wants from the new business owners and make it easier for them,” said Poorman, who predicted the village will experience significant new construction during the next five to 10 years.
• Council thanked council member Shelly Small for her six years of service on council; Small is moving out of the village. “Remember the residents who put you here,” Small advised. “Listen to them and see what they want.”
• Council member A. Kaye Hartman said the village will not purchase special lighting to resemble a lighthouse’s rotating beacon for the top of the new water tower. The tower is designed to resemble a lighthouse, but the special lights would have increased costs by $46,0000.