Demos moving slowly; Landings revived
BUCKEYE LAKE – Demolishing some of Buckeye Lake Village’s uninhabitable homes takes just a few minutes with a hydraulic excavator.
But the paperwork to reach that point can take months. Buckeye Lake Director of Development Mike Cassidy said Monday night that four asbestos surveys are underway, which must be done before seeking bids to bring the structures down. Buckeye Lake is participating in the Move Ohio Forward Grant program.
The City of Newark is administering the program in Licking County. Buckeye Lake hopes to get grant money – some requiring matches, some not – to remove 20 dilapidated structures.
Buckeye Lake must pay the cost, both pre-demo for the abestsos inspections, possible abatement and legal expenses and for the actual removal upfront. The grant program then reimburses the village’s actual expenditures less any matching fund commitments. In August, Buckeye Lake appropriated $50,000 toward the cost to remove 10 houses.
Council President Charlene Hayden said she, Cassidy, Mayor Rick Baker, and council member Barry Herron met with Newark Property Code Official Ron Paul Oct. 12 to discuss the procedure for securing all the releases necessary before properties may be considered for demolition.
“One of the most important concerns is asbestos removal,” said Hayden. “Sometimes this can be very costly depending on how much asbestos the EPA finds in the structure. Then the asbestos has to be removed before the structure can be demolished and hauled away.”
“It’s why this is taking so long. We have to follow the rules,” said Herron, who added that the asbestos tests could cost up to $1,000 each. “We are working on it,” he said.
An estimated 100,000 vacant and/or abandoned properties in Ohio are targets for the $75 million program. The money comes from Ohio’s share of a national settlement reached with mortgage companies earlier this year. In Licking County the county’s grant request of $570,000 was approved for 2012. Counties that did not apply for their full allocation can apply for additional funds in 2013. Licking County’s full allocation was $1,029,355.
While the most recent focus in Buckeye Lake Village has been on removing dilapidated structures, a major housing development that went into bankrupcy during the recession, is restarting under new owners.
The Landings at Maple Bay is having a ribbon cutting ceremony and offering a sneak preview from 3 - 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1. “That’s a real plus for our community that’s happening again,” said Baker.
The new owner is Stone Works, a local EPCON community builder. This “autumn at the lake” event is hosted by the developer, who will be joined by the Buckeye Lake Region Chamber of Commerce, offering food, entertainment, and prizes.
“At The Landings, we created an entrance, are installing roads, and have resumed construction. Soon, we will finish a beautiful four home structure. It’s a great time to share our thanks with our community,” commented Eriech Horvath, Stone Works CEO.
Homes are two or three bedroom, ranch style condominiums with Nantucket inspired elevations. They include finished verandas, attached two-car garages, and private patios. “Now we can attract buyers who don’t want to spend $300,000 or more, but have that dream of living lakeside,” said Horvath. The Landings at Maple Bay will contain 98 homes, many with harbor, protected wetland, or woodland views. The development plans include access to the lake by way of a five-acre harbor, boat docks, and a deluxe clubhouse.