2013-11-02 / News

Rides will be available to the new polling place

By Scott Rawdon

BUCKEYE LAKE – Several volunteers will shuttle Buckeye Lake voters to the Union Township Complex to vote Nov. 5, said Buckeye Lake Director of Development Mike Cassidy.

The Licking County Board of Elections relocated Buckeye Lake Village, Hebron, and Union Township’s polling places to the Union Township Complex on Beaver Run Road as a money saving measure. The seven-mile move worried Buckeye Lake officials that voters used to walking to their polling place would be unable to vote.

“Just show up at Our Lady of Mount Carmel,” said Cassidy, referring to where Buckeye Lake Village residents have voted in previous elections. “We will have volunteers at the Catholic church parking lot all day on Tuesday, Nov. 5th to transport people to the polling place on Beaver Run Road.”

Cassidy said the village could use more volunteers to transport voters and anyone willing to do so should contact the village office. Also, the Licking County Transit Board and the Licking County Democratic Party will have transportation available as well.

Grace Cherrington, Licking County Democratic Party chair, said her party would offer rides to voters. Former Buckeye Lake council member Kaye Hartman is helping coordinate transportation for voters. Cherrington said voters may call the Democratic headquarters at (740) 349-8273 to request a ride. “We don’t ask people their parties,” she said. “We’re encouraging people to vote early.”

Licking County Transit Board General Manager Cathleen Sheets said the transit board will have transportation available for voters, who should call (740) 670- 5185 to schedule a ride. She said standard fees apply – rides are $4 each, one-way. Those with Medicare cards pay $2 per trip and passengers’ caretakers ride for free.

In other council news:

• Cassidy said traffic at the I-70 and Ohio 79 interchange will be restricted starting Monday, Nov. 4, as the interchange moves to its new traffic pattern. The safety reconfiguration project that began this summer will close the two cloverleaf ramps.

Here’s the tentative schedule for the work and changes:

• Thursday, Oct. 31 - I-70 westbound traffic restricted at Ohio 79 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Monday, Nov. 4 - Ohio 79 north on-ramp for I-70 westbound will close for five days. Traffic will detour via Ohio 79 to U.S. 40 to Ohio 37 to I-70.

I-70 westbound traffic will experience a slight shift in travel towards the median and motorists are advised that the speed limit on I-70 will be reduced to 55 mph from Ohio 79 through the Canal Road bridge replacement project to just east of Ohio 158.

The I-70 eastbound loop ramps for Ohio 79 south to Buckeye Lake and the I-70 westbound loops ramps for Ohio 79 north will close for good.

The interchange’s new traffic signals will be active by Nov. 4 and will remain operating in a flash sequence in the meantime.

Motorists are urged plan ahead to avoid any possible delays associated with this work and to drive with caution through this area, obeying all posted signs related to construction. All work is weather permitting.

Upon completion of this project, this interchange will permanently become, and read, Exit 129 (for Ohio 79/ Buckeye Lake/ Newark).

The contractor for this $2.3 million project is Double Z Construction and the completion date is Dec. 31.

• Council President Charlene Hayden said she, Cassidy, and Mayor Rick Baker spoke with LEADS representatives about their plans to build lease-to-buy homes on empty lots within the village. Previously, council members rejected this plan, fearing that it promoted “more lowincome housing” in the village.

“Council will be reconsidering LEADS’ proposal to construct houses on open village lots,” said Hayden Tuesday. “The (Buckeye Lake) Community Development Committee will be discussing this at their next meeting. Council will then consider the community development committee’s recommendation.”

• Hayden said Millersport, which supplies public water to Buckeye Lake Village’s distribution system, is raising its rates 75 cents per 1,000 gallons of water next year. The increase will apply to Buckeye Lake.

“That does not mean we have to raise our rates that much,” she said. “We will be looking at our options over the coming months. We want to make sure we don’t do what Licking County did with the sewer rates. Planning small increases over time is much better than not doing step increases, which would result in having a very large increase sometime in the future.”

Buckeye Lake Village’s current minimum water bill is $29 per month.

Millersport Assistant Fiscal Officer Vince Popo said the Millersport Village Council likely will not vote on the ordinance to raise rates until December, and, assuming the ordinance is approved, the rate increase would not take place until Jan. 31, and the ordinance would be in effect for one year, after which the rates may change again.

Specifically how the rate change will affect Buckeye Lake customers, “We don’t know yet,” said Water Supervisor Toby Miller. He said the village’s service committee would review the rate change and likely pass it to the village finance committee for its review before any rate changes are proposed.

• Hayden said the Landings at Maple Bay held an open house Oct. 27. So far, two housing units have been sold and others are finished and ready for sale. She said the housing units’ prices range from $170,000 to $249,000. More houses will be built in the spring.

• Cassidy reminded residents that there is a village ordinance against burning trash or leaves within the village limits. “And, please don’t blow leaves into the lake,” he said.

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