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Pay raises for Buckeye Lake Police?

Lake Village Council members discussed pay raises for Buckeye Lake police officers, whom council member Hilde Hildebrandt said haven’t had a raise in seven years, and make less than any other officersin the area, including Union Township’s.

Monday night, Hildebrandt said the department, as of Sept. 30, collected $24,689 from impounded vehicles, court costs, and incidental income, which is credited to the village’s General Fund. She said a proposed police pay scale would cost approximately $15,866 and an additional $2,013 for pensions with the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System.

All council members agreed that an ordinance should be drafted to implement the raises and appropriate the necessary money from the General Fund. Council members will vote on the ordinance at a future meeting.

Hildebrandt added that the police department needs to place a three mill levy on the March ballot. According to the Licking County Auditors Office, a three mill levy would raise an additional $132,000 for the police department. She estimated residents would pay 25 cents per day per $100,000 valuation of the residents’ homes. An owner of a $200,000 home would pay 50 cents per day, and so on.

In other council news,

• Mayor Frank Foster announced Michael Carder, president of GGC Engineering – the company serving as the Village of Millersport’s engineers – sent a revised proposed draft agreement for water service. The Village of Buckeye Lake does not have public water service. Council members are considering buying bulk water from Millersport or Hebron, and they are considering building a village-operated water treatment facility. Nothing’s been decided yet.

In the revised draft agreement, Carder said Millersport would agree to construct a 10″ diameter water line to the Village of Buckeye Lake corporation limit. “We would coordinate the tie-in location with your consultant,” wrote Carder in the proposal.

Carder added that connecting to the Millersport treatment plant would save Buckeye Lake a minimum of $3.5 million (over building a village-operated plant) in capital and significantoperating costs – staffing,chemicals, electricity, backwash waste disposal, annual Ohio EPA permits, testing, etc. – maintenance costs, and interest costs. “Millersport is able to offer the reasonable rate of $3 per 1,000 gallons due to the successful acquisition of grants and low-interest loans,” wrote Carder. He added, “Mayor Foster, please consider the above as starting points in any discussion. We are available to discuss and negotiate any possible item of contention.”

• Kevin Wood, vice president of M•E Companies – the engineering firmdesigning Buckeye Lake’s proposed water system – said three companies bid to conduct pump tests on the village well field. The Massillon based Ohio Drilling Company had the lowest bid at $18,800. The other two bids were Reynolds, Inc. at $23,260 and G.H. Bierly, Inc. at $28,460.

To review, if the village buys bulk water from Millersport or Hebron, the village must complete a Capability Assurance Plan before it can receive funding from the Ohio Water Development Authority for a distribution system. If Buckeye Lake creates a village operated system with its own water treatment plant, it must also re-test its well field, including cleaning, inspecting, and pump testing it, to meet the demands of the Capability Assurance Plan. The village may be able to avoid the cleaning. If so, the re-test would cost about $14,000.

Ohio EPA Environmental Supervisor Stacy Barna said previously that the village would not be required to re-test the well field if it buys bulk water from Millersport or Hebron.

However, Foster said previously that he believes the re-test expense is warranted because the village will then have the information it needs to make a fair comparison between buying bulk water from Millersport or Hebron, or creating a village operated system.

Council agreed to check the Ohio Drilling Company’s references, but did not approve the re-test during Monday night’s meeting.

Monday night, Foster said he’d like to meet with Carder “a couple of weeks down the road,” and council scheduled a special meeting to discuss Millersport and any other new information regarding public water for Friday, Oct. 26, 3 p.m. in the Village Hall.

Wednesday morning, Foster and council members met at the village’s well site with Ohio EPA Environmental Specialist Jose Quinones, who made a visual inspection to determine if it qualifies as a well site geographically (i.e. it’s not next a chemical dump and it’s within the village boundaries) and to determine how high of a casing the well heads need to be above the 100 year flood stage. Visually, Quinones said he didn’t anticipate any problems, although the water itself still needs to be tested.

• Council members are deciding what to do with $10,000 donated to the village by the developer of The Landings and Residences at Maple Bay – a single family and condominium development being constructed on the former Bounds Farm property near Mill Dam Road.

“There are plenty of expenses it can be used for,” said Foster. Council member Donna Thompson suggested the money go toward a $7,500 used police cruiser. She said Buckeye Lake Police Capt. James Hanzey found a suitable vehicle for that price. The village’s oldest cruiser could be stripped of its police equipment- lightbar, etc. – which could then be transferred to the $7,500 Ford Crown Victoria, if the village purchases it.

But, Buckeye Lake EMS Coordinator Dave Ruton said the donation came about at the request of the firedepartment. He said firedepartment members want to team with the Greater Buckeye Lake Historical Society to create an elaborate July 4 celebration at the North Shore Boat Ramp to coincide with fireworks. The firedepartment sought sponsors and the developer responded in kind. While the donation was significantlymore than what the firedepartment requested, Ruton believes the firedepartment is entitled to a portion of the money.

“This is not something that needs to be decided tonight,” said Foster.

• The village placed signs at either end of the Hebron Road bou

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