Winter Update from the Buckeye Lake Region Corporation

Greetings. I hope that you and yours are well as we sail into the season that brings Holy Days for many and a New Year that is sure to be welcomed by all with great eagerness.

While all of us manage as best we can in uncertain times, the BLRC has continued to navigate issues that directly affect the quality of life in the Buckeye Lake Region. This newsletter addresses several key initiatives.

At the BLRC, our goal is to be an agent of positive change for the Buckeye Lake Region.

Please Stay Well and Share Acts of Grace and Kindness.

Mike Fornataro, BLRC Executive Director.

 The BLRC is actively pursuing many important issues that have a Regional impact:

COMMUNITY PIER: Envisioned as an economic incubator with amenities and public docking, the pier will offer a new way to enjoy the lake for residents and visitors alike. Currently in the study, design and general engineering phase, the North Shore Park area in the Village of Buckeye Lake has been identified as the most promising location. Soon there will be community outreach to engage those interested in the project. What form that outreach takes in this time of COVID is yet to be determined. Check BLRC2036.org for updates.

OHIO CAPITAL BUDGET REQUESTS FOR THE BUCKEYE LAKE REGION: As of this writing (12.15) the budget has yet to be approved, though it is expected to be before the end of the year. It appears to be more robust than initially anticipated and we should know soon the results of the requests made by BLRC for projects in the Buckeye Lake Region. Encouragingly, the budget includes over $250 Million for ODNR.

                                                                                                                                             FEEDER CHANNEL: The study by Tetra Tech, commissioned by ODNR, has been released. Next steps by ODNR include creation of a “master plan” and interim risk reductions. BLRC hopes to influence Feeder Channel projects to provide long-term benefits to Buckeye Lake water quality and quantity.

HONEY CREEK Responsible for much of the water, silt and nutrient pollutants that enter the lake, BLRC facilitated an assessment of Honey Creek. To correct many of the issues is approximately a one-million-dollar project. BLRC is actively pursuing funding, as successful remediation of Honey Creek would be a huge win for Buckeye Lake water quality.

SOUTH FORK OF THE LICKING RIVER STREAM RESTORATION: What began with taking a closer look at the South Fork logjams has evolved into something much larger. The entire South Fork requires restoration: logjams, riverbank erosion and flooding all the way to the North Fork in Newark must be addressed. A consistent funding source for the project, ongoing maintenance and the funding to support and sustain the South Licking Watershed Conservancy District must be established. Though largely located north of the Buckeye Lake Region, the negative economic, safety and quality of life impacts on this area make this a priority.

THORN TWP “ADVISORY SERVICES”: At the request of the Thorn Twp., BLRC assembled a task force of renown designers, architects, engineers and environmental experts to provide Thorn Twp. information on how a proposed development on the west side of Honey Creek can be the absolute best it can be. It is worth noting that BLRC is providing these advisory services directly to Thorn Twp.so that they may use the information to make the most-informed decision for their community. BLRC welcomes the opportunity to provide this service to any of their member communities facing development pressures.

CRYSTAL LAKES: One of the most engaging elements of the DPZ regional design is the “Crystal Lake” concept, a pool of crystal-clear recreational water of 8 or more acres. To bring this game-changing public amenity to the Buckeye Lake Region would be amazing in so many ways. Funded by the Buckeye Lake Region Community Foundation, the BLRC commissioned Venublue to produce a Crystal Lake economic feasibility review. That study is now posted at: https://www.blrc2036.org/planning-studies.html on the blrc2036.org website. Learn more about Crystal Lakes at www.crystal-lagoons.com

HOSPITALITY STUDY: As part of the Strategic Plan approved by the BLRC Board in July 2018 the BLRC commissioned this study, paid for by a grant from the Buckeye Lake Region Community Foundation. Including both market analysis and design concepts of 8 Buckeye Lake Region locations, this study identifies what the sustainable market is for hotel rooms and visitor amenities, what makes sense, where hotels best fit and the infrastructure challenges. An important incubator for discussion and manageable development, this study cost in excess of $65,000. It is hosted on www.blrc2036.org for everyone to access.

WELCOME NEW BLRC BOARD MEMBERS: BLRC is pleased to welcome Lisa Stewart, Dick Williams and Casey Clark to its board of Directors. The BLRC is made up of your neighbors from all corners of the Buckeye Lake Region. Curious who else is on the board? Check out the full roster at www.blrc2036.org/who-we-are.html

CHAMPIONS OF THE LAKE: This is the designation for the highest level of business donors to the Buckeye Lake Region Corporation. Please support the businesses that support your community!