BUCKEYE LAKE – The Zanesville based North Valley Bank is building a new branch in Buckeye Lake Village, Buckeye Lake Mayor Clay Carroll announced during Monday night’s council meeting.
Construction started this week along Ohio 79 as part of developer Garry McAnally’s North Shore Landing project. Carroll said the bank may be open in early spring 2015.
The new bank fills a void left when PNC Bank closed its Buckeye Lake branch early this year. An ATM is available at the former branch. Carroll said North Valley couldn’t simply move into the vacant PNC building because, “The PNC building has a deed restriction that it cannot be another financial institution for five years.”
“I thought Buckeye Lake should have a bank,” said North Valley Bank President and CEO Fred O’Dell, who is a lifelong Licking County resident. He said he tried to purchase the PNC building but the deed restriction stopped him. O’Dell said the new building will be 1,500 square feet, with two drive-thru lanes and a drive up ATM and night depository.
According to North Valley’s website, North Valley Bank was originally established in 1904 by local area businessmen in the Village of Corning, in Perry County, as The Bank of Corning Company. The need for a locally owned, community-oriented commercial bank arose out of the oil boom at the turn of the century. Today, North Valley Bank has four locations, located in Muskingum, Perry, Morgan, and soon to be Licking counties. “We’re 110 years old,” said O’Dell. “It’s not like we’re just getting started.”
In other village news:
• Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Marianne Perine said she will resign her position after serving for six years.
In her resignation letter read Monday night, Perine said, “Please accept my resignation as a member and chair of the Buckeye Lake Parks and Recreation Commission, effective November 10, 2014.
“I have plans to spend more time working on other projects of interest to me as well as travel plans.
Perine said the other commission members select the chair each year at the December meeting. The mayor or council must appoint members to the Parks and Recreation Commission according to the village charter. Prospective members are usually sought out by other members or by advertisement. “Our last appointee was Mary Muryn this year,” she said. “She completed a short resume to the commission and then was formally appointed by the mayor at a council meeting. According to the Village Charter there are five commissioners. Therefore, there is a vacancy to be filled and the village council will make the appointment this time. The commissioners are unpaid.”
In a related issue, resident Charlotte Basnett told council the village should provide more recreation options for senior citizens. “I’m not sure how this fits in with the village,” she said, but seniors currently have no public physical fitness program options. “The village should push recreation more,” Basnett said.
• Council president Jeryne Peterson said while she appreciates the Buckeye Lake Police Department’s success at reducing traffic speed through the village, she disagrees with some of council member Barry Herron’s statements in The Beacon’s Nov. 1 edition, where he advocated even stronger traffic enforcement, with more time spent monitoring traffic and more citations issued.
“I’d like to see the officers do more patrols,” said Peterson, adding that she would rather cruisers wind through the village on patrol than idle along the roadside waiting to catch speeders. It’s important to catch speeders, Peterson said, but she would rather see cruisers near bus stops with children or maintaining an increased presence near the skate park “instead of sitting and waiting for someone to do a New York stop through a stop sign.” She said doing so would help maintain children and residents’ safety. “I just think it’s a matter of manpower and energy,” Peterson said. “There are plenty of other things they could be doing.”
Village records show Buckeye lake issued roughly 120 traffic citations each month during August and September. By comparison, Hebron issues about 40 per month and Baltimore citations vary strongly from about 20 to 40 per month, according to their respective Mayor’s Court clerks.
The receipts are not insignificant. In July, the village collected a total of $11,695.60 in fines. The village’s share was $8,669. Total fines collected in August were $18,301.85, with the village keep- ing $13,174.75. Fines collected increased in September, totaling $20,540.33 with the village holding onto $15,156.53. Most fines are $127 for excessive speed.
• Carroll said he is relieved to learn there are currently no immediate plans to work on the Buckeye Lake dam. He and council member Barry Herron attended ODNR’s dam assessment open house at Millersport High School Oct. 28.
ODNR held two identical community open house forums at Millersport High School and at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Buckeye Lake Village the following night, to update the community on the progress of an assessment the US Army Corps of engineers is conducting on the Buckeye Lake dam. The assessment is expected to be complete early next year.
“I was in a panic they were going to tear something up,” Carroll said, “but it’s not time for that yet.”
For those who missed the meetings, representatives of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will host another open house event from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the Hebron Municipal Complex.
ODNR has contracted with USACE to provide an independent assessment of the condition of the dam that will include recommendations for operations, maintenance and any needed dam repairs. Findings from this assessment will be shared publicly by ODNR after it is completed and reviewed, which is expected in early 2015.
The open house will provide information about the dam assessment being conducted by the USACE on behalf of ODNR. The open house forum provides an opportunity for attendees to have their questions addressed in an informal setting anytime between 5-8 p.m. Open house participants will learn about the dam structure, general dam safety awareness and the scope and purpose of the USACE assessment. Participants are also invited to provide their comments, photographs and written materials concerning Buckeye Lake Dam that they would like to be included as part of the dam assessment.
For more information about the Buckeye Lake Dam assessment, visit engineering. ohiodnr.gov and click on Dam Risk Reduction Program, then Current Projects.
• Council member Arletta Ruton said the Buckeye Lake Fire Association continues to accept toy and monetary donations for its Toys for Kids event during the holidays. She said the association, which is sponsoring the drive, can accept toys that are new and still in their original packages.
• Karen Mathis of Shai Commercial Real Estate said there is no purchaser for the former Buckeye Lake Truck Stop at Ohio 79 and I-70, even though the main building has now been torn down. “Maybe now we can get some activity on the site,” she said. Mathis assumed the current property owner believed the old truck stop was unsightly, unsafe, or both, and opted to tear down the building.