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Licensed golf carts OK on Ohio 79

BUCKEYE LAKE – As long as they’re licensed and inspected, golf carts are permitted throughout the Village of Buckeye Lake.

Village council members Monday night amended a village ordinance by a 4-2 vote to allow licensed golf carts to be operated on streets with a 35 mile an hour and below speed limits. That means licensed golf carts can be operated on all streets in the village, including Ohio 79. Previously, the ordinance limited them to streets with a maximum speed limit of 25 miles per hour.

Council member Gerry Neff, who had opposed the change at the committee level, voted “no,” as did council member Arletta Ruton who said she rejected the change “for safety reasons.” Council member Michelle McCormick was absent.

Technically, the revised ordinance allowing licensed golf carts on Ohio 79 won’t be in effect until 30 days after the vote, but Mayor Clay Carroll said the village would not ticket licensed golf carts traveling Ohio 79 before then.

Police Chief James Hanzey said he didn’t think golf carts on Ohio 79 would pose a problem for law enforcement and golf carts would be subject to the same traffic laws as other licensed vehicles. Golf cart drivers must have driver’s licenses and insurance, the carts must be licensed through the State of Ohio, and the Buckeye Lake Police Department must deem them roadworthy (they must have windshields, headlights, turn indicators, etc., just like any other licensed vehicle).

In other village news:

• Council member Barry Herron said police traffic patrols on Ohio 79 have increased, “but there’s still work to do.” He said he was driving 42 miles per hour on Ohio 79 through the village the other day and “three people passed me.” Herron said the Buckeye Lake police need to continue concentrating on calming traffic on Ohio 79, particularly since golf carts will now be in the mix.

Previously, Herron said the newly paved Ohio 79 has become “like a drag strip” for traffic hurtling through the village. He warned residents and visitors that police would increase traffic patrols and wouldn’t hesitate to write citations.

• Carroll said construction of the rain garden in front of the Village Offices is proceeding well. A pad of permeable concrete surrounds the garden to allow moisture to drain into the plant material, which is soon to be installed. He said the an Ohio EPA demonstration grant is funding the rain garden and the object is to use natural material to control parking lot flooding. “It’s all a really new idea,” Carroll said.

The EPA refers to a rain garden as “green infrastructure.” According to the EPA web site, storm water runoff is a major cause of water pollution in urban areas. When rain falls in undeveloped areas, the water is absorbed and filtered by soil and plants. When rain falls on roofs, streets, and parking lots, however, the water cannot soak into the ground. In most urban areas, storm water is drained through engineered collection systems and discharged into nearby water bodies. The storm water carries trash, bacteria, heavy metals, and other pollutants from the urban landscape, degrading the quality of the receiving waters. Higher flows can also cause erosion and flooding in urban streams, damaging habitat, property, and infrastructure.

Green infrastructure uses vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage water and create healthier urban environments. At the scale of a city or county, green infrastructure refers to the patchwork of natural areas that provides habitat, flood protection, cleaner air, and cleaner water. At the scale of a neighborhood or site, green infrastructure refers to storm water management systems that mimic nature by soaking up and storing water.

• Ruton said the fire department is hosting a blood drive at the station on Saturday, Aug. 30. “This is what we call trauma season,” she said, “Right now, we are in a shortage. We can use all blood types,”

Ruton added that residents should visit the Buckeye Lake Youth Association’s waffle booth at the Millersport Sweet Corn Festival Aug. 27-30. “The money goes to the kids in the village,” she said.

• Council President Jeryne Peterson said Park National Bank, the Buckeye Lake Museum, and Perry County Judge Luann Cooperrider are sponsoring an outdoor movie night starting at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 16, at the North Shore Boat Ramp near the shelter house. The Lego Movie is the main feature with a Buckeye Lake historical film opening. Movie goers should bring chairs or blankets. There will be free popcorn and drinks.

• Also Saturday, Aug. 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Buckeye Lake Fire Department hosts a Back to School Bonanza, featuring school supplies, haircuts, and games. The Buckeye Lake Police Department will provide finger printing for kids.

All supplies will be handed out on a first come, first serve basis until they are gone. Anyone wishing to donate supplies should contact Casey Tucker at (740) 928-3473. It is open to all Lakewood students.

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