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Old Buckeye Lake Library to become food pantry

BUCKEYE LAKE – Buckeye Lake Council members have yet to approve officially, but Mayor Rick Baker believes it’s pretty much a “done deal” that the LEADS program will use the village-owned former Buckeye Lake Library space at 41 First Street West for its food pantry.

LEADS would be offered the same deal for rent as the library–$1 per year. The library moved to a new location earlier this month. “It’s a win, win,” said Baker, because LEADS will pay for the utilities and minor repairs and LEADS really needs the space.

Monday night, council members decided not to waive the three reading rule just yet on an ordinance to enter into a rental agreement with LEADS and approve it immediately because they hadn’t had an opportunity to review the contract. Baker said he’s confident the ordinance, which supports the building’s standard not-for-profit lease agreement, will be approved soon.

“LEADS has operated the food pantry in Buckeye Lake for many years,” said LEADS CEO Kenneth Kempton. It’s located in the same building as the Head Start Program, near the former library space. “This combination of services at the same location has created a challenge relating to storage space, waiting area and parking,” he said. “Through the generous support of the Village of Buckeye Lake and Mayor Baker we plan to move in to the building formerly occupied by the library,” said Kempton. He continued, “This will give us much more space for storage and reduce the chance of shortages of available food. It will also assist us with a larger waiting area for customers and with some additional parking.”

Kempton said last year the Buckeye Lake Food Pantry distributed 87,000 pounds of food through the Food Pantry Network of Licking County. He said clients receive a three to five day supply of food for everyone in the household. The meals are well balanced and include protein, vegetable, fruit and grain. The Buckeye Lake Food Pantry served 1,464 households that included 3,718 individuals. “On a single day we can serve as many as 35 households,” said Kempton. “LEADS is very appreciative of the support from Mayor Baker, the finance committee of village council and Chuck Moore Executive Director of the Food Pantry Network of Licking County. By working together we hope to provide additional assistance to those in need in Buckeye Lake and Union Township.”

In other council news:

• Resident Donna Braig wondered which parts of North Bank Road are really called North Bank Road or something else entirely. North Bank Road runs near the waterfront, but development has created gaps in the road, whose name continues through those gaps. Braig said she’s aware of a section called West North Bank and believed another section is actually called North Bend. “This is causing a lot of confusion,” she said.

Village Water Tech Toby Miller said even if the sections of road aren’t identified correctly, many residents have used the same address for many years and probably wouldn’t be too eager to change.

A Licking County tax map obtained Wednesday shows that beginning from its west end in Buckeye Lake Village, North Bank Road heads south from Ohio 79 as Ohio 360, then continues east at the waterfront until it almost reaches Rosebraugh Court, where the road turns north as Cottage Street. North Bank Road begins again on the east side of the spillway, but is interrupted again at the Buckeye Lake Town homes. East of the town homes, North Bank Road resumes until it reaches the Buckeye Lake Yacht Club entrance. According to the tax map, all of its sections are called North Bank Road.

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