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More talks on water Monday for Buckeye Lake

BUCKEYE LAKE – Buckeye Lake Village Council members will meet in a special session, Monday, Feb. 4, 6 p.m. to discuss the latest proposal from the Village of Millersport, which is offering to supply public water to Village of Buckeye Lake. Previously, Mayor Frank Foster said he won’t ask council to approve a water contract during the Feb. 4 meeting, but the Millersport Board of Public Affairs should have an agreement ready for the Buckeye Lake Council to review.

During the Jan. 28 regularly scheduled council meeting, Foster said he will consult with village solicitor Richard “Butch” Bindley about the village’s ability to demand exactions from developers, whom Foster believes will have a strong interest in the Village of Buckeye Lake should the village acquire public water soon. Exactions encourage developers to improve the infrastructure their subdivisions affect or make improvements to the surrounding community; exactions are very flexible and could include anything from purchasing EMS equipment for the village to upgrading village streets.

Although the village has yet to sign an agreement with Millersport, Foster said he will also ask Bindley to explore the issues associated with running public water lines through the village’s privately owned roads. The village will likely have to work out some sort of permanent easement agreement so village crews may service the lines whenever necessary without first needing to ask the landowner’s permission.

In other council news:

• Council approved a Buckeye Lake Comprehensive Plan, which the village completed with help from the Licking County Planning Commission. Creating the plan took about a year and a half.

Licking County planner Scott Fulton said the county charged the village $500 to help create the plan, which covered mailing fees and various supplies. Fulton said private consultants may charge up to $50,000 to fashion comprehensive plans for villages. He described the Buckeye Lake’s comprehensive plan as a “roadmap of the future” for Buckeye Lake Village and it definesa 20-year development strategy. Although Buckeye Lake currently does not have a public water system, the plan, in many ways, was created as though the village does. “It was a given that the water would be coming,” said Fulton. He added that the process of creating the plan was smooth. “The committee was great. They were a pleasure to work with,” said Fulton.

“It will give me some of the tools that I’ve definitely needed for dealing with developers,” said Director of Development Valerie Hans Monday night.

Buckeye Lake Planning Commission Chair Karen Cookston said that although the planning commission has many new members, previous members were heavily involved in the plan’s creation.

• Council member Donna Thompson said a resident told her Cliff Street is flooding. A plugged drain at the end of the street is the likely cause. Foster said previously that the village is working on a plan to solve storm drainage problems around the village.

Hans said Monday night that having a formal plan would help the village receive grants toward solving drainage issues.

• Tom Able and Scott Carlisle from Advantech Service and Parts LLC-a Midvale, Ohio based company that builds emergency vehicles-attended Monday night’s meeting to answer questions about a new ambulance the Buckeye Lake Fire Department may purchase. Able and Carlisle explained that the village can work through a state-bidding program where it won’t need to bid for individual pieces of the ambulance prior to its assembly. Carlisle said the state-bidding program would allow the village to choose from more ambulance component options and the overall cost of the vehicle may be slightly less.

Carlisle estimated the ambulance would cost about $185,000. Council members may consider legislation to purchase the vehicle during the next council meeting (or possibly the Feb. 4 special meeting). Council did not formally consider purchase Monday night.

If council begins the purchase process soon, the village should have the new ambulance by October or November of this year. Depending upon interest rates, Foster said the village would likely pay five yearly installments of about $40,000 each for the ambulance.

Buckeye Lake EMS Coordinator Dave Ruton said the village’s existing ambulance has 72,000 miles. “That’s old for a medic,” he said. “It’s tired.”

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