The water is now on
BUCKEYE LAKE – Buckeye Lake and Licking County officials officially broke the seal on Buckeye Lake’s new public water distribution system May 14, even though water was flowing since May 3 and more than 100 customers had already connected.
The ribbon cutting marked the end of Buckeye Lake Village’s 30- year journey to acquire a public water system. The ceremony took place at the village’s new pump station at west corporation limit on Ohio 79.
“What a real plus for the village to have the water,” said Mayor Rick Baker Tuesday. He credits the previous village administration for making the water system happen; public water has eluded Buckeye Lake since the town was incorporated in 1980. The Village of Millersport is supplying water to the system and eventually more than 1,000 Buckeye Lake customers.
“This is one of the reasons I ran (for mayor),” said Baker. He said he could see the development potential public water could provide to the village. He said he’s heard “rumors” of interested developers now public water is available, but he doesn’t know if they’re true.
Baker’s home is already connected to the system. “It’s great,” he said. Baker purchased his home 19 years ago. “They kept saying, ‘We’ll have water in five years’ and then ‘We’ll have water in five years,” said Baker. “Now it’s a reality.”
Baker said the village is still on track to begin repaving side streets in July. Residents have endured torn up streets since last summer. Baker said a paving contractor will be in place by early July, ready to begin work as soon as the village receives funding.
Baker said he’s “real optimistic” developers will be attracted to the village. He wants to see “quaint development” as opposed to any “big box” retail outlets. Baker hopes Ohio 79 will develop more of a “downtown” feel with more businesses.
Baker expects Eric Mason to build the Grill on the Lake in Buckeye Lake Village. Mason may break in July for the $2 million restaurant. “I think that’s the start” of major development in Buckeye Lake, said Baker.
Licking County Commissioner Tim Bubb said that now with adequate public water and sewer capacity, the village is set for residential and commercial development. “Water and sewer are prerequisites any more,” he said. As the village continues to demolish uninhabitable houses, more lots will be available for development. But, Bubb said, the market will dictate how quickly those lots fill with new development, just like anywhere else.