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Street repaving should start soon

BUCKEYE LAKE – Residents should begin spotting Chemcote Asphalt Paving Company vehicles around Buckeye Lake Village by the end of the week, but the entire repaving project likely won’t be complete until near the end of August, said Buckeye Lake Safety Director Tim Matheny during Monday night’s Buckeye Lake Village Council meeting.

Simply put, repaving the village streets following installation of a public water distribution system is a difficult process and people need to be patient, said Water Tech Toby Miller.

Once Chemcote gets its equipment in town, it will still be about a week before they begin milling or grinding down the existing pavement. That process will take about a week. The final step is laying down a new layer of asphalt. Chemcote estimates the entire process will take roughly 25 working days, assuming the weather cooperates.

Miller said as of July 26, 466 of the 1,150 potential customers with access to the new waterlines have connected to the new distribution system. Beginning Oct. 1, Miller said anyone signing up for water, but not yet connected will be billed $29 per month. He said a number of property owners signed up for water before they intended to connect to the system to avoid paying a future tap fee and were aware that eventually they would be subject to a minimum monthly bill.In other village news:

• Buckeye Lake firefighter Dave Ruton said the Buckeye Lake Fire Department is collecting fans for those who need them during this hot summer. He said people can donate fans at the fire station at any time, but people will be at the Buckeye Lake Fire Department specifically to collect fans Saturday, July 31, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ruton said anyone in need of a fan can stop by the fire department at any time and ask for one. There’s no charge for the fans, but those who take one will need to fill out a short form.

• Residents will have to wait a little longer to see if a change to the Buckeye Lake Fire Department’s Insurance Service Office, or ISO rating, will significantly cut residents’ fire insurance rates. Fire Chief Pete Leindecker said during Monday night’s council meeting that it should be worth the wait. He said the whole process of reevaluating the rating, start to finish, will take roughly 210 days. Leindecker said the department will need 30 to 45 days to prepare for the evaluation with equipment placement and organizing paperwork so the village can obtain the highest point value possible. After the ISO office receives the reevaluation, it has 75 days to complete an on site evaluation. Once complete, the ISO office has 90 days to make decision and issue a new class code for Buckeye Lake.

Leindecker explained the ISO rates fire departments on a scale of one to 10 as far as effectiveness, and insurance rates are based on that number. One is most effective and 10 is not effective at all. Buckeye Lake Fire Department is currently a nine, mostly because the village didn’t have a public water distribution system.

Now that public water is available, the ISO should lower Buckeye Lake’s rating. Leindecker said rating factors are 40 percent on water availability, 10 percent on communication, and 50 percent on the fire department itself. He said if the department tried to submit its information without jumping through all the ISO’s hoops, it may have its rating lowered to eight, which wouldn’t save people much money on insurance premiums. Liendecker’s goal is to get to a six, which could save residents up to 40 percent.

• Director of Development Valerie Hans said a reduction in funding may force the village to significantly scale back its plans to demolish the 76 uninhabitable properties recommended for removal. “Everybody’s (in Licking County) getting cut,” she said. “If things go well, we can still get rid of up to 30 properties – 30 of our worst of the worst.”

Licking County Community Development Specialist Beth Jones said demolition projects in process countywide are being reviewed. “The projects not as far along may be on the chopping block,” she said, “but nothing is official yet.”

Katie Sabatino, spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Development, said that Licking County was originally awarded $955,000 in December 2008 for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program with the requirement that all of the funding would be obligated to demolition projects by June 30. “That didn’t happen,” she said.

Sabatino said Licking County participants had only obligated $175,361 by June 30. She said Licking County agreed to a $105,000 voluntary reduction in funding, but now Licking County participants have until Aug. 31 to obligate the remaining $674,000. “It’s not a reduction on our end,” said Sabatino. In fact, she said, it’s a deadline extension.

In a report to council, Hans said 12 properties have been demolished to date. The village has 19 viable properties remaining in the program for demolition. According to her report:

• To date, seven properties have been demolished under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program – 138 Second Street, 11144 Hebron Rd., 355 Union Ave., 35 W. 5th Street, 202 Woods Street, 89 Stewart Ave. and 99 Stewart Ave.

• Five property owners demolished structures at their own expense – 52 Seymour Ave., 10977 Hebron Rd., 139 Myers Ave., 394 1/2 Central Ave., and 172 Park Street.

• Demolition contracts are waiting to be signed by Licking County Commissioners on five properties, which should be demolished within two weeks: 145 Anchors Way, 73 Elliot Ave., 10727 Mill Dam Rd., and 242 Myers Ave.

• Asbestos inspection is in process on 10 properties: 8 Buckeye Ave., 20 Buckeye Ave., 231 Eighth Street, 25 W 5th Street, 54 W 5th Street, 41 Klotz, 52 Klotz, 60 Lake, 231 Lake, and 87 Terrace. They should be demolished in the next few weeks.

Her report said 11155 Hebron Road is still waiting for paperwork to be returned from the mortgage company and one former occupant, 25 W 4th Street and 11116 Hebron Road are waiting for paperwork to be transferred, and the village is waiting for IRS tax lien signoff on 42 6th Ave.

Monday night, Baker said he will continue to pursue demolishing all 76 structures by whatever means is available. “I still want these to come down,” he said.

• Buckeye Lake Planning and Zoning Commission Chair Karen Cookston told council the group spent considerable time with Licking County Planning staff to modify Buckeye Lake’s zoning book. “We’re very excited,” she said. “A lot of it is to bring it into conformity with other communities.”

Cookston said the group wants the village’s zoning to be more “builder friendly.” She said planning and zoning will present changes to the book as they’re made, instead of handing council a large, and possibly overwhelming, draft of the zoning book. “Pieces are easier for everyone to absorb,” said Cookston. So far, she said, the major change to the book is a reorganization, including a table of contents and a definitions section, and seven articles were redone. “We’re not rewriting, we’re cutting and pasting from other communities,” said Cookston. The planning and zoning commission will hold a public hearing to discuss changes Sept. 7.

• Council President Charlene Hayden said Monday night the Buckeye Lake Youth Association’s carnival over the weekend was very successful. Council member A. Kaye Hartman and Clay Carroll volunteered their help. Activities included an Elvis impersonator and a dunk tank whose volunteers included Baker, former mayors Frank Foster and Jim Bartoe, and Police Chief Ron Small. “I spent a lot of time in the water,” said Baker, who volunteered for a dunk tank many years ago. “It seemed a lot easier back then.”

• Baker said the Heritage Ohio meeting, where Buckeye Lake residents and business owners will be encouraged to discuss the village’s future, is now set for 6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 30, at the Buckeye Lake Yacht Club.

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