Serving all the communities of the Buckeye Lake Region

Council approves 2012 budget

BUCKEYE LAKE – Buckeye Lake Council member Kaye Hartman’s request to vote separately on the fire department’s budget was rejected Monday night.

“No,” said Council President Charlene Hayden. Hartman requested the separation because council member Arletta Ruton serves on the fire department and voting on its budget would be a conflict of interest. By breaking it off for a separate vote, Ruton could vote on the rest of the village’s proposed budget..

The budget was approved unanimously with Ruton abstaining. Council member Jeryne Peterson was absent.

“You don’t vote on issues that affect you,” said Hartman. “I was trying to let (Ruton) vote on the rest of the budget.”

Hayden said village solicitor Butch Bindley advised her not to separate anything from the budget.

“Since (Ruton) chose to abstain from the vote on the budget, it was really a moot point,” said Hayden. “Basically, (Bindley) said he would not advise splitting the budget and that he felt the budget was the budget and it should be presented and voted on in its entirety. I did not ask for any further detail because, at that point, I thought (Ruton) would most likely abstain from voting on the budget.” Which, she did.

Hartman said she informed Ruton and Hayden before Monday night’s meeting that she would suggest separating items relating to the fire department from the budget.

Later in Monday night’s meeting, Hayden apologized to Hartman for her curt response.

In other village news:

• Mayor Rick Baker said more than 70 people applied to replace part-time fiscal officer, Vince Popo, who has resigned effective

Jan. 31. Many of the applications were submitted online from Council Clerk Valerie Hans said roughly 20 of the applicants had the qualifications to warrant an interview.

• Hayden said she and Baker met with Lori Carlson, Licking County Humane Society executive director, who asked the village for financial help in supporting the organization. Hayden said Licking County provides a stipend to the Humane Society for the county’s unincorporated areas, which helps pay for a humane agent. She said in Buckeye Lake Village, the agency received 18 cruelty complaints in the first nine months of this year and 11 village animals were confiscated. Hayden said it costs an average of $400 to vet, house, and provide for each confiscated animal. She said Carlson broke down the costs for each Licking county municipality based on the services provided this year. “The total amount they are asking the village to contribute is $187.66 per month, or $2,251.92 per year,” said Hayden. “I would like for the public service committee to set a time to discuss the possibility of the village giving a stipend to the Humane Society in lieu of their services.”

• Hayden said she, Baker, and Director of Development Mike Cassidy met with LEADS officials to discuss their desire to build affordable single family homes in Buckeye Lake Village. “They are in the process of trying to secure lots on which to build the homes and they are working on a grant application that is due in early 2013,” said Hayden.

Previously, LEADS CEO Kenneth Kempton said the housing coming to Buckeye Lake Village would not be Section 8. “LEADS does not utilize Section 8 funding to build any of our projects across the State of Ohio and Section 8 housing funds would not be used in Buckeye Lake.

“LEADS is working with (Baker) and (Cassidy) and we have spoken to members of the village council about existing vacant lots and tearing down abandoned structures to build single family homes,” Kempton said. He said these homes would be required to meet building standards that require minimum square footage, quality building materials and practical design to maximize energy efficiency.

• Beginning next year, Buckeye Lake Village Council meetings will begin at 7 p.m., instead of 7:30 p.m.

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