BUCKEYE LAKE – Buckeye Lake Village’s rental policy is discouraging tenants, said Buckeye Lake Village Council member Peggy Wells Monday night. “Someone needs to take a look at the leases we’ve been doing,” she said.
Wells, who has rental properties of her own, said she wanted to take a look at the former Lee’s Famous Recipe space next to the Buckeye Lake Police Department, which the village owns. She said the strip mall on Hebron Road with the Buckeye Lake Hardware store, is welcoming two businesses – a Subway Sandwich Shop, which is moving from the Blue Heron Boardwalk mall, and Dragon Village Asian food. Wells said both businesses invested tens of thousands of dollars in buildouts and signed 10-year leases.
Wells said she believes the village’s rental policies are antiquated and should be updated to be more tenant friendly. Also, she’s concerned there is not adequate parking for the former Lee’s Chicken caryout when village employees are taking up many of the parking spots in front of the building.
“The lease itself is pretty harsh to tenants,” Wells said. “This is a pretty competitive market. People are moving out of Blue Heron and into (other) buildings.”
Wells suggested the village allow new tenants to redo village rental spaces before moving in, so the village doesn’t spend its own money doing it, and then discovering it wasn’t what the tenant wanted or the state or county mandates other work. She volunteered some of her own “for rent” signs to advertise the available space.
“We need to review the terms of our lease and lighten the burden for the tenant when it comes to maintenance costs,” Wells said.
In other village news:
• Council member Barry Herron said traffic continues to speed through the village following the Ohio 79 repaving project, despite increased patrols. “Cars come into the village from the west at more than 50 miles per hour,” he said, adding that he hoped increased patrols would calm traffic, but that hasn’t been the case.
Herron said drivers “fly” over the bridge heading into the village on Mill Dam Road going toward East Street, and one out of 10 vehicles roll through the Mill Dam Road and East Street intersection.
“We still have a problem with drivers in the village,” Herron said.
• Council clerk Valerie Hans said code enforcement officer Rod Riley has listed the properties that ignored village orders to cut weeds or grass and maintain a clean, safe and sanitary condition. As a result, the village did the work and the cost of the work will be added to their property tax bills. The properties are:
*4924 Walnut Road
*158 Wood Street
*310 Seymour Ave.
*116 Park Street
*72 Myers Ave.
*72 6th Ave.
*119 3rd Street
*109 1st Street
*5128 Walnut Road
*180 Elliott Ave.
*109 Stewart Ave.
*45 Stewart Ave.
*145 Stewart Ave.
*76 Elliott Ave.
*35 Stewart Ave.
*86 Elliott Ave.
The total cost to the village for mowing and maintaining the properties was $1,437.36. Hans hopes the village could recover some of the money through property tax payments. If the village continues to have to do outside maintenance with the cost added to the property tax, non-payment will eventually lead to foreclosure. Hans said the village has had no choice but to maintain the property owners’ lawns and send them a bill. “If you don’t do anything, the neighbors will be upset,” she said.
• Herron and former council member Charlene Hayden said they would volunteer to shuttle voters Nov. 4 from Buckeye Lake Village to the village’s polling place at the New Life Methodist Church in Hebron, across from the Hebron Municipal Complex. The Licking County Board of Elections decided in March to move Buckeye Lake Village and Hebron’s voting place to New Life for the May election and this will continue for November.
That’s about five miles closer than the Union Township Complex, where Buckeye Lake, Hebron, and Union Township residents voted last November. But it’s not within walking distance or close enough for the Buckeye Lake officials who asked the board to restore a polling place within the village.
Village officials will continue to look for more volunteer drivers to shuttle voters.
• Council member Arletta Ruton said the Buckeye Lake Fire Department is looking for toy and monetary donations for its Toys for Kids event during the holidays. She said the department can accept toys that are new and still in their original packages.
• Mayor Clay Carroll said the Buckeye Lake Youth Association’s Trunk or Treat event runs from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 30, which corresponds to the village’s Trick or Treat time. Trunk or Treat takes place at the youth association building at Ryan-Braden Park.
• Carroll said residents have two opportunities to attend a Buckeye Lake Dam assessment open house meeting. The first is Oct. 28 at Millersport High School and the second is Oct. 29 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Buckeye Lake. Both meetings will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. and will offer the same information.