Buckeye Lake downtown group gets busy
BUCKEYE LAKE – It’s all about inviting visitors to the village, and then giving them something to do, said Annette Macedonia, who’s leading the newly formed Partners for Reengineering our Prosperity group, or PROP.
The group of residents and Buckeye Lake officials stems from last summer’s Heritage Ohio presentation about the Main Street USA program. The program reviewed ways to improve Buckeye Lake’s downtown area and attract more visitors and businesses. Following that meeting, a steering committee was formed in December to determine the village’s eligibility to become a Main Street Program. It’s not eligible. Still, the summer meeting was very well attended and committee members concluded that an independent group could be formed based on Main Street USA’s principles and approach.
“We’re not trying to create a metropolitan suburb of Columbus,” said Macedonia to the roughly 20 people who attended PROP’s first meeting at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church Tuesday night. She said PROP’s objective is to focus solely on the Village of Buckeye Lake, and the group’s agenda won’t overlap other lake area civic organizations. PROP is divided into four committees – economic development, promotions, organizational, and design. Each committee met individually for a short time during the Tuesday meeting to brainstorm ideas for the Village of Buckeye Lake’s future.
Members of the promotional group suggested finding ways to attract tourists to Buckeye Lake outside of the regular season, such as launching a fireworks show over the frozen lake, sponsoring a candlelight walking tour along the North Bank, or creating an ice skating rink. Members also discussed somehow tying the village into the National Trail Raceway’s summer Mopar event and creating other village festivals and events. Sponsoring a cancer walk and a Buckeye Lake bar hop were suggested as well.
Economic development group members discussed attracting a doctor’s office or clinic to Buckeye Lake. Group coordinator Doug Poorman said Buckeye Lake has an unusually high number of squad runs, mainly because residents will call a squad to transport them to a doctor. Somewhere for people to go for blood tests and routine medical care would be beneficial to the village, he said. Poorman said the group also suggests distributing a flyer listing all the businesses in town. “People don’t know what businesses are here,” he said. “I think that’s a problem.” Poorman said it’s a “small step forward,” but an important one nonetheless.
Design group chair and former Buckeye Lake Mayor Frank Foster said the group struggles to find a specific Buckeye Lake Village business district. Is the “downtown” on Hebron Road or is it farther south near the Buckeye Lake Post Office and Pizza Cottage? The solution may be to divide the “downtown” into two or more districts when discussing its future. The design group members also discussed trying to locate an antique interurban trolley car to place in the Hebron Road boulevard.
All discussions were simply suggestions and no decisions were made regarding Buckeye Lake Village’s future. Macedonia said the committees were off to a good start. She urged them to meet monthly and recruit more members.