BUCKEYE LAKE – Monday night, Buckeye Lake Village Mayor Clay Carroll provided council members his synopsis of 2014 and what he predicts will be 2015’s challenges.
“As the 2015 year begins I would first like to recap just a few items from 2014 that we should all be proud of,” Carroll said in his report.
Carroll said the village passed two levies last year–a renewal of a five-year, 0.8 mill operating levy, which is used just to pay for streetlights, which was approved by a 276-173 vote, or 61.47 percent to 39.47 percent. Voters also renewed a five-year, three-mill police levy by a 273-178 vote, or 60.53 percent to3 9.47 percent.
Last year, a grant-funded nutrient reduction project was completed by a contractor and another phase of the Oho 79 sidewalk project was completed..
“We experienced a continuation of the demolition and removal of more dilapidated houses, some by the village and some by private owners,” Carroll said, adding that home building and remodeling was pretty strong last year. “Certainly one of the most exciting things is the increasing number of residents willing to positively participate in the village in various capacities,” he said.
Looking forward, Carroll predicts that the community events soinsored by the village will be bigger and better, “as well as some new things that are coming our way,” he said.
Carroll expects to see increased efforts to bring commercial growth to the village and a continued focus on cleaning up run down properties and stimulating neighborhood pride.
However, the village will face several challenges as well. He said a lack of funding would continue to be a hindrance for the police department. “While the renewal levy was passed in 2014, this only provides about 50 percent of the funds needed for the day-to-day operations and does not address the need to replace equipment such as cars, computers and, more importantly, safety equipment for our officers,” he said.
Carroll said the village street department has for years been the workhorse of the village taking care of anything from snow plowing and general street repairs (including signage) to mowing the park, along roadways, empty lots, and helping out with any other manual labor required. “This department receives a small amount of funding from sources such as fuel taxes but this equates to a fraction of what the department received a few years ago,” he said. “Their workload has grown over the last several years and they are literally trying to more with less.”
Finally, Carroll said the village’s storm sewer infrastructure is extremely antiquated and some parts of it are in desperate need of repair or replacement. “As you all know, during significant rain events, flooding occurs throughout the village and needs to be one of our priorities over the next few years,” he said.
“I strongly believe that if we all continue to work together demonstrating a positive and motivated desire for improvement, we will enjoy a brighter and better Buckeye Lake,” Carroll said.
In other village news:
• Council member Kitty Zwissler said she wants to see the mayor and council members create a long-term mission statement. “What the goals are and objectives of the village and how to achieve them in the most productive way,” she said. “As citizens we have an emotional as well as a financial investment in this village.”