2010-05-01 / News

Water will start flowing to customers next week

By Charles Prince

BUCKEYE LAKE – Village water customers will be able to pay their water bill via credit card.

Council members unanimously approved an ordinance Monday night authorizing Mayor Rick Baker to execute an agreement with Elavon Inc. to handle Visa and MasterCard payments. Mayor’s Court defendants will be able to pay fines and court costs with credit cards, Service Director Tim Matheny said. Most public bodies add a convenience fee to credit card transactions to cover the service fee charged by the credit card companies. The village won’t add an extra charge to use a credit card. Rather those fees – estimated at 80¢ per monthly water bill by Matheny – have been built into the price.

Water tech Toby Miller reported that plans to start hooking customers to the new distribution system are still on track for May 3. A couple could be hooked up this week.

The new 500,000 gallon water tank has sprung two leaks. The first – fixed Monday – was around the overflow pipe, Millersport Water Superintendent John Wood told The Beacon. Wood is also serving as Buckeye Lake’s certified operator. Another leak about five feet down showed up Tuesday, requiring the tank level to be drawn down for access to make the repair. Water is only stored in bulbous metal portion of the tank that sits on the top the concrete tower.

For both repairs, a service person paddled around the tank in an inflatable raft to make the repairs. The repair person, gear and raft are decontaminated before entering the tank. Bacteria testing was done after the first repair and at 13 places throughout the distribution system Monday. The tank will be retested after the second leak is repaired. Wood said both Millersport and Buckeye Lake will use the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Consumer Analytical Lab in Reynoldsburg for most of the required tests. The tank will be painted in the next month, weather permitting.

Millersport uses chlorine to disinfect its water. But since chlorine dissipates with time and travel, Buckeye Lake will be reinjecting chlorine at the booster station at the village limits . Buckeye Lake will be checking chlorine levels daily at several points on the system using automatic test equipment.

With the tank leaks repaired, the distribution system is 99.9 percent operational, Miller said. All lines have been pressure tested. The project contractor has five workers landscaping the excavation areas and will work daily, weather permitting, until finished. The village fiscal officer is being trained on the billing software. The part-time water department position advertised last week will do the actual water taps and install meters.

In other business Monday night, Development Director Valerie Hans said 75 properties have been recommended for demolition. Of those, 26 have been approved for demolition including obtaining the property owner’s consent. The first one to come down under the program will be 138 Second St., Hans said. Bids have been received on that property, 202 Wood St., 35 Fifth St., 355 Union Ave. and 11144 Hebron Rd. They should be gone in a couple of weeks, Hans said.

Three more properties – 145 Anchor’s Way, 161 Anchor’s Way and 10732 Mill Dam Rd. (aka 1 Ohio St.) – are being inspected for asbestos and should be ready to go out for bid next month. Property owners’ have torn down three houses at their own expense – 52 Seymour Ave., 10977 Hebron Rd. and 139 Myers Ave.

For eight of the 75 properties, owners claim they are being renovated. Hans said they will be monitored for compliance with the property maintenance and zoning codes. Another owner said 89 First St. is being used for storage and wants to retain it. Owners of 37 other properties have not responded to letters from the village.

Public Safety Committee Chair Clay Carroll proposed that the village purchase four almost new self contained breathing units for the fire department. The units are available at half price or $2,500 each. Miller said the department has 13 units with eight meeting 1997 standards and five meeting 2000 technology. The new ones meet 2009 requirements. With sufficient funds in the department’s budget, the purchase was unanimously approved.

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