BUCKEYE LAKE – It’s the changing of the guard for Buckeye Lake Village administrators.
Service Director Tim Matheny’s long expected retirement prompted the moves. Former Newark Service Director Daniel Coffman started last week, although his responsibilities are yet to be completely determined.
“With Dan’s arrival, I consider it a work in progress,” said Buckeye Lake Mayor Rick Baker. He said Director of Development Valerie Hans would serve as clerk of council and mayor’s court clerk with Coffman taking on development duties, among others.
“Most grant writing will be given to Dan considering his expertise,” said Baker. “He is already working on more funding opportunities than we have tried to obtain during my tenure. Also, Dan will take on more of a leadership role for the office and management of village operations. As always, we have to adhere to what the village charter dictates.” Baker said Coffman works roughly 30 hours per week, which is more than Matheny did.
Although Coffman started Oct. 17, he said he’s still spending time wrapping things up at Newark until Oct. 28 while basically working to organize the Village’s administrative functions. “I’m all over the place,” he said, speaking with potential developers and looking for ways to make the village “more vibrant.” Coffman said his current goals are to be sure the village government is running smoothly and to explore ways to attract economic development.
Monday night, Buckeye Lake Village Council members bid an official farewell to Matheny, whose final day on the job is Oct. 28. “It would be impossible to list all the services Tim has provided to the village,” said Baker, while reading an official proclamation in Matheny’s honor. He started working with the village March 2005. Coincidentally, Matheny is also a former Newark service director.
“It’s been interesting…fun,” said Matheny to council. He conBenefit siders installation of a public water distribution system to be a high point of his tenure. “I’m glad we finally got it done,” he said.
Council member Kaye Hartman said Matheny was her former boss and he was service director when she served on Newark City Council. “I’ll sure miss you,” she said.
“His knowledge has been invaluable,” said council president Charlene Hayden of Matheny. She said he served the community after work hours and was the office “carpenter and spackler,” building office furniture and completing other handyman duties. “He was the go-to guy, no matter what the situation,” said Hayden. “Our village was very lucky to have him for as long as he was here.”
In other village news:
• OSU students Paul Ellison, Mike Berne, and Asti Powell attended Monday night’s council meeting to collect more opinions relating their class project – a master growth and development plan for Buckeye Lake Village the students are creating for a city planning class that adjunct professor Aaron Domini is leading.
The students asked council members and those attending Monday night’s meeting to help them list issues they have with the village (things that can be improved), opportunities (things that make the village attractive), and other things to be considered. “It’s more of us trying to figure out what you’re doing as a village,” said Ellison.
Some of the issues to be ad- dressed are low income, a lack of community involvement, unkempt properties and abandoned structures, delinquent property taxes, foreclosures, and narrow and private streets that are tough to navigate and maintain.
Village advantages included the lake, the village’s colorful history, public water, and new sidewalks. Residents commented they would like to keep the village’s “quaintness” intact when considering new development and agreed the village has a great location to attract development because it’s waterfront and easily accessible to I-70.
Domini said the master plan would be created in three steps. First, students will conduct a technical analysis of the village, or, in other words, take an inventory of Buckeye Lake’s properties, services, and population. They’ll also prepare an existing conditions and trends analysis. Next is a broad public involvement campaign including online surveys and onstreet interviews with residents. “We’re trying to talk with people,” he said. The survey is available on the village’s web site at buckeyelakevillage.com and residents are invited to complete it.
Domini wants to learn what people like about Buckeye Lake Village, dislike, and would like to see come to the village. He doesn’t believe that any outside service creating a master plan can really get a feel for what the municipality needs without spending significant time talking to residents and learning what they expect to happen in the future.
Domini said the third step in the process is gaining perspective from “the outside looking in,” or speaking with people who live outside of Buckeye Lake but are familiar with it, and asking them what they would like to see the village do to make it more attractive to visitors. He hopes to have the master plan completed by December of this year.