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Council tables new engineering contract

BUCKEYE LAKE – Buckeye Lake Village Council members decided not to jump into contract negotiations for the design and construction management of a $503,000 storm water drainage project until some questions are answered.

They tabled an ordinance authorizing Mayor Rick Baker to enter into contract negotiations with Jobes, Henderson & Associates, Inc. for the engineering services related to the project after council member Clay Carroll raised some questions about Jobes Henderson’s standard contract. He was not implying that there is anything dishonest or misleading in the contract, only that he believes some statements need clarification.

Carroll requested that a Jobes Henderson representative address the following statements included in the contract before council approves authorizing Baker to enter into contract negotiations:

• Construction monitoring: Specifically, monitoring shall not require JH&A (Jobes, Henderson & Associates) to assume responsibilities for the means and methods of construction. Construction monitoring shall not be a part of this contract, unless specifically stated in the scope of the services.

• Construction key: JH&A has no control or authority over the means, methods, and sequences of construction.

• Retainer: The retainer shall be held by JH&A and applied against the final invoice (Carroll wondered if the retainage shouldn’t be held in escrow).

No retainage of payment for services performed by JH&A is to be held by the client.

• Set-offs, backcharges, discounts: Payment to JH&A for service rendered and expanses incurred shall be due and payable regardless of any subsequent suspension or termination of this agreement by either party.

• Satisfaction with services: Payment of any invoice by the client is satisfied with our services to the date of payment and is not aware of any deficiencies in those services.

“We should take heed of what Mr. Carroll is saying and ask them about it,” said council member Jeryne Peterson.

Buckeye Lake Service Director Tim Matheny advised council members to delay voting on the ordinance until the questions are answered, as opposed to approving it under the condition that the questions will be answered in the future. “If you have issues, don’t pass it,” he said.

To fund the project, the village will receive about $358,000 from an Ohio Public Works Commission grant, a roughly $119,000 no interest loan, and the village would contribute around $25,000 toward the project, which will replace 3,688 feet of storm water tile and 22 existing storm water structures with 26 new catch basins.

The replacement project extends south along Hebron Road from the village limit to Highland Avenue and then from Hebron Road east along 6th Avenue and then south on North Street. The system will continue to discharge into Waste Weir Run near the Buckeye Lake Fire Station.

In other council news:

• Council President Charlene Hayden said the Insurance Services Office sent a letter to the village confirming that an ISO representative will visit Buckeye Lake Village Aug. 8. “The purpose of the visit is to collect information about our fire department and our water supply and distribution system,” she said. “This data will be reviewed for the purpose of giving us a rating that will determine, in part, the cost of homeowner’s insurance.”

ISO Field Representative Thomas Young said the field work should take two to three days to complete, but another 60 to 90 days is necessary to determine the village’s new rating. Basically, the ISO rates fire departments on a scale of one to 10 as far as effectiveness, and fire insurance rates are based on that number. One is most effective and 10 is not effective at all. Buckeye Lake is currently rated nine, but that rating was set before the village had a public water system with fire hydrants.

Buckeye Lake Fire Chief Pete Leindecker said previously he hopes that the availability of public water and other efforts will help improve the village’s ISO rating to six or seven. Depending upon each insurance carrier and how it does business, lowering the rating from nine to six could lower fire insurance costs by roughly 40 percent, but that’s extremely variable and there’s no guarantee the fire department will reach its goal.

• Buckeye Lake activist Bonnie Mansfield read a statement to council asking members to consider renting the village-owned Buckeye Lake Library building (the library is moving to a new building in Buckeye Lake Village) to the humane society and charging the society the same $1 per year rent it’s currently charging the library. Mansfield said the humane society could open an animal clinic to spay and neuter dogs and cats. Mansfield said the village’s feral cat populating is out of hand and the humane society clinic could help bring it under control.

Hayden said the village’s public service committee should look into that and Hayden said she’d need to see the library’s utility bills. “From what I understand, the utilities are quite expensive,” she said.

• Council member Donna Thompson requested a hearing to review the Buckeye Lake Dollar General store’s application for a liquor permit. She wondered if the village doesn’t have too many active liquor permits as it is. “I think our village has more bars than people,” said Thompson.

“Our village isn’t all that big and I think we have a lot (of permits),” said council member Kaye Hartmann.

Hayden said the Albanese IGA grocery store and the Valero service station closed down, both of which had liquor permits. The grocery store is now a Goodwill store and the Valero remains closed, so neither permit is currently in use. “It may be hard to deny (the Dollar General liquor permit),” she said.

According to the Ohio Department of Commerce, 13 Buckeye Lake businesses (including the Buckeye Lake Yacht Club) hold liquor permits for a total of 34 issued (most businesses hold several permits).

• Hayden said she attended to the Buckeye Lake Youth Association’s festival last weekend as a talent show judge. She said Carroll and Bob Myers also helped with the contest. Carroll helped set up tents and other tasks beginning early Saturday morning and Hartmann helped provide a Salvation Army food wagon. “Unfortunately, (Elvis impersonator Prentice Chaffin) was cancelled due to the heavy rain on Saturday evening,” she said. Chaffin will be rescheduled. Hayden said the attendance for this year’s carnival was as good or better than last year. “So, look forward to the announcement saying, ‘Elvis is back in the (building),” said Hayden.

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