BUCKEYE LAKE – Village- Council member Drew Bourne resigned after six years on council to take a job in West Virginia. He has two years left on his term. Council member Hilde Hildebrandt, acting as council president in Council President Charlene Hayden’s absence, read aloud Bourne’s resignation letter during Monday night’s council meeting.
According to Bourne’s letter, “I sadly must resign my seat on the Council of the Village of Buckeye Lake effective October 22, 2009. I have taken a job with the Department of Treasury in Beckley, West Virginia. I enjoyed working with all of you, or as I’ve learned to say down here, ‘y’all.’ I’m proud that we’ve accomplished a lot in the nearly six years I have been on council – public water, zoning, and building code, just to name a few. I would suggest that we quit our association with Licking County Planning, as they seem to be hindering our growth in attracting businesses.
“I will also miss all the people associated with the operation of the village and the people who make Buckeye Lake such a great place to live. I have resided over 60 years in the village and have seen the lake when the park was the place to go, when the area became depressed, and now as the lake is becoming great again. I wish you all well and hope that you keep the betterment of the village and the citizens on your forethoughts in all the decisions that you make.”
“I’m very saddened by this. I’m going to miss him terribly,” said Hildebrandt, adding that Bourne has useful finance experience.
Council has 30 days to fill the remaining two years of Bourne’s term. If council can’t agree, then the mayor makes the appointment. Residents who are registered voters that are interested in the position should send a resume to the village office.
In other council news:
• Mayor Frank Foster asked council to approve waiving the zoning fees associated with construction of the village’s public water distribution system because the contractor would charge those fees back to the village, anyway. He said more than 70 percent of the smaller water lines are installed and about half of the larger mains. He expects all the water lines to be installed by Christmas. “There’s been a lot of good progress on the distribution system,” he said.
Foster assured residents that contractor Stillion Brothers will catch up on repairs to roads being damaged as the water lines are installed; the previous weekend’s rain washed away much of the gravel and caused pot holes. He said the contractor will dedicate a person to maintain streets during the winter, even if the weather temporarily halts construction. Foster said streets cannot be repaved until the water lines are pressure tested in May or June of next year. In the meantime, the roads will be smoothed and graveled as necessary. Foster urged residents to call the village office if their streets have specific problems.
Foster said the booster station, which connects the village’s distribution system to the line from Millersport, will be completeed in October. He said the foundation for the village’s water tower off Mill Dam Road, will have a 15 foot deep concrete base. The 165 foot high water tower should be in place by mid-January, but it can’t be painted until summer.
Overall, water system construction is ahead of schedule and may be complete before June, which was the original forecast.. Foster said council will approve a plan for connecting individual homes to the water system and recommended that residents hold off digging any ditches until that plan is approved.
• Foster reported that the City of Newark is shutting down its building code department. Currently, the department conducts building code inspections for Buckeye Lake and most of the municipalities in Licking County. County officials are in the early stages of hiring a contractor to take over inspections when Newark’s department shuts down.
• Council candidate Peggy Wells encouraged council members and the Parks and Recreation Commission to seek input from youth when making decisions about the village park, particularly when selecting equipment. She said basketball players asked for breakaway basketball rims and a drinking fountain. She suggested appointing one or two youths to the Parks and Recreation Commission as advisors, similar to when school boards appoint student advisory members. “The guys down there shooting hoops know best what they should have,” said Wells.
• Foster recognized Buckeye Lake Fire Prevention Officer Toby Miller for his work helping Stillion Brothers determine locations for fire hydrants. He said the hydrants are placed where they are most convenient for the fire fighters and are not simply placed at regular intervals on the water line.