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Should Buckeye Lake rename some streets?

BUCKEYE LAKE – Which 4th Street is which? And, where the heck is North Bend Road?

Buckeye Lake Village Council member Drew Bourne, during the March 23 council meeting, asked council if it would be wise to change some of the village’s street names because some, like 6th Street and 6th Avenue, are similar or duplicated, such as several sections of North Bank Road that are not contiguous. Council members did not discuss or consider changing village street names, but Bourne’s question raised some questions of its own.

Council Clerk Tim Matheny said the problem used to be worse. Outside of the village proper, there are several additions with private owners, like the Myers or Carlin additions. When streets were created within these additions, they were named independently from Buckeye Lake Village’s streets, leading to some duplication of street names. Also, development and other factors can divide a street, like North Bank Road, into sections. Cranberry Bay’s street names were changed nearly 10 years ago to avoid confusion.

The similarity and duplication of street names isn’t a problem for long-time residents, but it can be confusing for visitors and emergency service personnel.

Part-time Buckeye Lake firefighter Pat Redd said he never goes on an emergency run in Buckeye Lake Village without a map book. He said all the firefighters depend on the Licking County dispatch center to give them cross streets at the emergency site to avoid confusion. But, Redd said he works for several other departments and they all deal with similar street name issues; it’s not just Buckeye Lake. He said the main problem for firefighters in the village is residents not displaying house numbers.

Dirk Futral has been a parttime Buckeye Lake firefighter for 10 years and knows the territory well. But, he still takes the map books with him on runs and is thankful for GPS locating systems and county dispatch’s cross street references. He said the trailer parks are also confusing. Futral said if a letter precedes the lot number, it’s probably the Leisure Village trailer park. If there’s no letter, it’s probably Buckeye Lake Estates.

Matheny said formally changing a village street name would require several public meetings and council’s approval. At least, he said, most people in the village have Post Office boxes, which would be unaffected if street names were changed.

Zoning Inspector Rod Riley suggested opening up some of the dead end streets in the village to improve access within the neighborhoods.

ODOT District 5 spokeswoman Kate Stickle said as long as the streets are within the village, their names are left up to the village. It is important, however, to notify ODOT of any changes to street names so the organization can update its records.

There are instances where ODOT has agreed to change the name of a state route or accepted the name given to it locally– Memorial Drive in Lancaster, for example. Technically, it’s State Route 33.

By the way, North Bend Road is a curved extension of North Shore Road that no street signs identify.

In other council news:

• Director of Development Valerie Hans said the Taco Bell and Duke service station have signed on for public water; Buckeye Lake will begin installing a public water distribution system later this spring. The business sign-ups on a usage basis are the equivalent of 258 homes. The total business and residential sign-ups are the equivalent of 1,076 residential customers.

• Hans said the village changed its employees’ insurance coverage because the health plan is more expensive than what the village budgeted. She said the new plan requires employees to pay 20 percent of health costs until a $3,000 deductible is fulfilled. The prescription plan is similar.

• Forster said the village’s annual Spring Clean-up Days are Wednesday, April 8, through Saturday, April 11. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Village residents may deposit trash free of charge in the dumpsters at the village street department which is located behind the Village Office at 5192 Walnut Road (Ohio 79). Anyone bringing trash there should be prepared to show proof of residency.

Tires will be accepted this year for a small fee.

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