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Council agrees to seek grant for bike/skate park

BUCKEYE LAKE- Buckeye Lake Village’s bicycle and skate park is looking for a few good ramps. Members of the Buckeye Lake Parks and Recreation Committee asked village council members March 12 to apply for $10,000 to $20,000 in Community Development Block Grants to purchase more ramps for Phase II of the popular facility, located at Ryan Park.

“It’s a great addition to the village,” said council member John Cortez. Council members unanimously agreed to apply for a $10,000 grant to begin with, and possibly apply for another $10,000 grant at a future date. Former council member Peggy Wells, who spearheaded the park’s creation, said she would fillout the paperwork necessary to apply for the grant, and she believes the village will not need to raise any matching funds to qualify for the grant.

Director of Development Valerie Hans said matching funds would only be necessary if Phase II of the park needed engineering specifications, which it does not. Wells said she already has all the specifications required for the additional ramps.

In other council news:

+ As the council approved the transfer of $15,000 from the General Fund to the Police Levy to cover current expenses, council member and Finance Chair Hilde Hildebrandt commented that it appears as though village’s money is “down to rock bottom on everything.”

After the meeting, Mayor Frank Foster said the village has yet to receive financial disbursements from the county, so the general and police funds are low, but “the other individual departments are not nearly as low.”

Bob Fitch, Licking County chief deputy auditor, explained that disbursements are the distribution of tax revenue, which, in this case, would be from the first half of tax collection. The village received $175,619.45 from its most recent disbursement. Fitch estimated the village will receive a similar amount for its next disbursement, which the village should receive in mid or late April.

+ Hans said the village submitted applications for $2 million in grants toward a proposed village operated public water system. The applications were submitted through Congressman Zack Space (D-OH) and Senator George Voinovich (R-OH). She said she won’t know the results of the applications for “a couple of months.”

Kevin Wood, vice president of ME Companies – the engineering firmdesigning the village’s water system – said it’s also a matter of months before the results of the village’s Capability Assurance Plan are made public.

According to information from the Rural Community Assistance Partnership, a Capability Assurance Plan takes into account information about the costs associated with a village’s public water system, such as operating, planned improvements and maintenance; historical income from water rates in offsetting costs; overall cost of system operation; funding sources available other than actual billing, and alternate outside funding sources. Once this information is gathered, it helps the village obtain funding from sources like the Ohio Water Development Authority. The village cannot physically proceed with construction of a public water system until the Capability Assurance Plan is complete.

+ Council member Drew Bourne said the village is still looking into cost estimates for “Charles Slater Memorial Boulevard” street signs. The boulevard section of Ohio 79 through the village, currently Hebron Road, is to be designated Cha r l e s Sl a t e r Memor i a l Boulevard in honor of Buckeye Lake Village’s late first mayor.

“There’s not really a lot of money for the signs right now,” said Council Clerk Tim Matheny.

Foster said previously that this is not an officialrenaming of the street, and residents’ addresses will not change.

+ Council President Charlene Hayden said that at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 9, at the Village Hall, council will discuss zoning changes, recommended by the Buckeye Lake Planning Commission for the Bounds Farm property to accommodate The Landings at Maple Bay and The Residences at Maple Bay – condominium and single family subdivisions proposed for the property. She said the council must either approve or reject the planning commission’s recommendations by May 14.

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