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You are not terminated

BUCKEYE LAKE- If you are a Buckeye Lake water customer and received a termination notice or an unexpected credit, ignore it.

“Something went haywire,” Buckeye Lake Service Director Tim Matheny said. “The whole billing was messed up.”

The problem arose, he said, when the wrong information was sent to the village’s billing service that actually prints and mails the bills. “(Customers) will all be rebilled,” Matheny said. New bills will be in the mail soon.

Council members cleaned up another mistake Monday night, by approving an emergency ordinance setting fees for late payment and reconnection. A customer challenged the village’s authority to levy late fees without an ordinance.

Council members quickly approved a late payment fee of $5 or 10 percent of the bill whichever is greater and a $50 connection fee if service is terminated. The fees weren’t discussed and residents won’t have an opportunity to comment on them since council members waived the three reading rule. The fees are effective immediately. Customers who paid late fees prior to Monday night are entitled to refunds “if they ask,” Matheny said.

In other village council news:

• Buckeye Lake Village Council member Donna Thompson who chairs the personnel committee reported on their meeting to discuss pay raises for Police Chief Ron Small and Captain James Hanzey. “They’ve had no pay increase for over nine years,” she said. Thompson said she suggested giving both Small and Hanzey $2 more per hour. Village council and committee member Kaye Hartman suggested that Small and Hanzey receive a $1 per hour increase retroactive to June 1, 2010, and then a two percent cost of living increase on January 2011 and January 2012.

According to the committee’s minutes, Thompson asked Small if this would be acceptable to him and Hanzey, to which he replied, “Yes, it would be for now.”

Committee members unanimously recommended that council adopt Hartman’s proposal. A vote could come at the next council meeting set for Monday, Sept. 13.

• Kim Lust of State Farm’s regional office in Newark announced the village will receive a $2,000 grant for taking part in the company’s Founder’s Month service projects in June. Mayor Rick Baker helped State Farm volunteers plant flowers in a median flower bed and pick up trash along the lake.

Baker said State Farm has always been a “big contributor” to Newark. “We’re glad to have them at Buckeye Lake,” he said. Baker said the $2,000 would be used toward landscaping and other beautification efforts in front of the Village Hall.

• Director of Development Valerie Hans said four more uninhabitable houses were demolished under Licking County’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program, leaving 11 more to be demolished. Hans said there may be another round of funding coming, but didn’t have any details.

• Small said there’s a $127 fine for parking on the village’s narrow streets.

• The village made its final payment – for roughly $27,000- to Stillion Brothers, the contractor that installed the village’s public water distribution system. Stillion was paid a total of $3,735,848.13.

• Millersport Mayor’s Assistant Vince Popo has been hired as the village’s fiscal office. He previously had been Millersport’s interim fiscal officer. He’ll continue to work for both villages. “I’m excited; I think (Buckeye Lake is) at a crossroads,” he said.

“I’m very impressed with this guy,” said Baker.

• Baker reminded council members about a meeting to discuss a downtown revitalization plan with Jeff Siegler of Heritage Ohio. The meeting is set for 6 p.m. on Monday, August 30, at the Buckeye Lake Yacht Club.

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