2013-03-16 / News

Buckeye Lake looking for grants to repair streets

By Scott Rawdon

BUCKEYE LAKE – Figuring out how to repair Buckeye Lake Village’s rapidly deteriorating streets will take some patience.

“This is a long and involved process,” said Vaughn Klingler, Buckeye Lake public works director, Monday night. He and the street department are identifying every village street, taking photos of their surfaces and any damage, and classifying potholes. “We’ll determine what’s causing the problem and get price estimates,” said Klingler.

Buckeye Lake Village’s streets are falling into disrepair, just a couple years after being completely resurfaced following the installation of public water distribution system.

Roughly six months after the installation of a public water distribution system and subsequent repaving, the village’s streets began crumbling. Contractor ChemCote resurfaced the streets for $756,000, but generally failed to apply a bond or tack coat to the existing surface or clean the roadway in front of the paver. Both steps were specified in the contract and represent industry best practices. They are critical steps to get the new asphalt to stick to the existing surface. Nor did the firm consistently install two inches of asphalt as specified in the contract.

A series of Beacon reports and editorials pointed out these contractual violations and the failure of the village’s engineering firm – ME Companies – to enforce the contract terms. Village officials and most council members ignored those reports.

As a result, heavily traveled areas, particularly Cranberry Lane, quickly suffered damage. A ChemCote crew returned to on July 20, 2011, for about a half day of repairs on Cranberry Lane. The crew ground up asphalt in the two areas where the paving had completely broken through to dirt. After a quick sweep, a new layer of asphalt - without a tack or bond coat - was applied to the deficient and in some areas, nonexistent base. Village personnel said ChemCote would not return after completing those repairs.

An area there about the size of a dining room table broke through to dirt again about a month ago. Smaller breakthroughs are occurring throughout the village.

Klingler said the village will be exploring grants or other government help. “It’s going to take us a little time,” he said.

In other village news:

• Mayor Rick Baker said he’s pretty excited about a five-story lighthouse a private resident is building near the North Shore Boat Ramp in the Wachtel & McAnally development at the Ohio 79 curve. “It’s cool,” said Baker, who added that the lighthouse would line up with Ohio 79 as to be easily visible when entering the village.

Director of Development Mike Cassidy said the lighthouse will have an actual light at its peak. “It’s really going to be something,” he said.

“It will be a very traditional looking lighthouse,” said Wachtel & McAnally principal Garry McAnally, adding that it will be East Coast style, and complimentary to its surroundings. “It’ll be a nice identity for the development,” he said, adding that owner Bill Lewis is “very excited” about creating it. “He’d like to start as soon as possible,” said McAnally. “It’s a very complicated structure.”

For those very familiar with the village, McAnally said the lighthouse would close to where a small water tower designed to look like a lighthouse stood for years.

• Baker said he’s also excited about Carlin Addition owner Barry Wright’s plans to rehab some homes within the addition and his possible plans to improve the addition’s damaged streets. “I’m real optimistic Barry will do a good job,” said Baker. He said Wright plans to rehab some of the existing houses into affordable homes with waterfront and boat docks. “He’s a motivated guy,” said Baker. He said the village does not own the Carlin Addition streets, so there’s nothing the village can do to im- prove the area, but he’s confident Wright will do a fine job based on the structural rehabs he’s completed in Cranberry Bay.

• Council President Charlene Hayden said parks and recreation commission members are discussing ways to deal with vandalism at Ryan/Braden Park. She said vandals broke into the park’s storage building a couple months ago, as happens often. Commission members decided not to repair the restrooms because they have been vandalized so many times that any repairs would be a waste of money. “They have a group that will use the ball diamonds this summer and that group said that they would take care of their own restroom facilities when they have games,” she said. “In addition to the break-ins, graffiti has been painted on the storage building and the shelter tables many times. These areas have to be repainted at least once a year.”

Hayden said the commission plans to erect a sign with an award for reporting vandalism at the park. She said council member Barry Herron suggested contacting Licking County Crime Stoppers for help. “(Buckeye Lake Police Captain James Hanzey) and one of the commission members are checking into this,” said Hayden.

Commission chair Marianna Perine asked council to make sure curfews are enforced and to look into increasing patrols. “That might help,” she said.

• Council member Clay Carroll said the village should plan a public meeting to discuss what should be done to address questions about the village’s EMS service. He suggested the meeting take place in mid May.

Buckeye Lake officials are exploring the possibility of contracting for emergency services, but ultimately it will be up to the residents to decide. “We are going to look at Hebron, and then others such as Millersport or private firms,” said Baker. “All depends on what is affordable.”

The operation of the Buckeye Lake Fire Department came into question following an in-depth study by The Beacon revealing large gaps in the department’s part-time paid staffing schedule and practices that affect response times.

Baker said holding the meeting in May would give the village ample time to explore all options, including contracting with another fire department for services, and determine how much each of those options would cost the village.

“I don’t think we have enough information at this point to determine that any one way of handling our safety services is better than another,” said Hayden. “We are exploring the various options to see what the potential solutions may be. Then, we will present those options to our residents and they will have to choose what they want to fund with their tax money.” She said any increase in services from what the village has at this time would likely mean an increase in the amount residents would have to pay.

“Since we are in the first stages of information gathering, I don’t think anyone has any concrete thoughts about what is best for the village,” said Hayden. “Most people I talk with would prefer to have our own fire and emergency services.” However, to have those services at the optimal level may cost more than the village residents feel they can afford, she said. Hayden said Carroll is trying to resolve the issue. “So, I hope we will have some better answers in the near future,” she said.

Hebron Mayor Clifford Mason said Baker would like 24-hour paramedic service if Buckeye Lake Village could afford it. Mason said if it appears as though Hebron could present Buckeye Lake with an attractive offer he would contact Baker to arrange a meeting. “We want to make sure we present any sort of plan,” said Mason.

Millersport Fire Chief Matt Bergum told The Beacon March 5 that Millersport has yet to hold any discussions with Buckeye Lake Village regarding EMS service.

• Hayden said the Licking County Humane Society opened a new facility Saturday. According to a press release, the new 6,400 square feet facility on Thornwood Drive eclipses the former run down building on Dog Leg Road.

“It was very old; it was tired, run down, hard to keep clean,” said Lori Carlson, executive director. The sprawling campus on four acres boasts four cat rooms, including one for kittens.

“There’s actually room for customers to come and get to know a pet,” said Deborah McDonald, board member and volunteer.

The dogs housed at the shelter are kept in kennels designed for their size and there is an outdoor area where people can get to know the dogs.

“Before, we had only 11 kennels at the old shelter,” said Mc- Donald. “Now, we’re able to house 40 dogs and 60 cats.”

The shelter is complete with a clinic for pet visits, extra storage space for food, toys, and treats, and isolation rooms for animals new to the shelter.

“All of this was raised through donations and the generous gifts of donors and foundations in Licking County, so there are no tax dollars committed to this project,” said Carlson.

LCHS hosts a dedication ceremony April 11. Donations are still needed to meet the society’s $1 million goal, the cost to build the new shelter. Donations can be made at www.lchspets.com.

• Hayden said the Charter Review Commission had its first meeting March 4. Commission members chose Annetta Macedonia as chair, Marie Ray as vice chair, and Frank Foster as secretary. Hayden said Carroll marked some sections of the village charter that have raised questions. Also, she said there are charter sections that no longer apply because they were written to direct the village’s transition from a statutory form of government to a charter.

Commission members agreed to meet twice per month with the goal of providing their recommendations to council in June. Hayden said this would provide council members time to review the suggested changes and prepare legislation to place those changes on the November ballot.

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