Lake Affect: Spring 2021 Update

Spring Update from the BLRC, March 2021

Greetings. I hope that you and yours are well as we sail into the season of rebirth. The days get longer and warmer, plants wake up and another season of activity on Buckeye Lake lures us outside.

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 & NORTH SHORE PARK RE-DEVELOPMENT

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. The concept illustrated here increases green space, adds a boat ramp and increases parking.  Follow this link to learn more and take a public survey which is open until April 4 https://www.buckeyelakepier.org/

THORN TWP “ADVISORY SERVICES”

The owner of 55 acres west of Honey Creek presented a development plan to Thorn Twp, which drew resistance from the community members and township officials. BLRC called a meeting to ask the neighbors to voice their concerns and share what they would like to see in a new development.

BLRC asked the Thorn Twp Trustees if they would support a BLRC task force of top-tier planners, designers and engineers to provide development recommendations. They chose to engage BLRC, and that is who BLRC worked for – not the developer. Please note that this was not a revenue stream; the BLRC spent thousands to provide this service.

View the presentation video and individual design concepts at: Planning Studies (blrc2036.org)

MAJOR BUCKEYE LAKE REGION FLOODING INITIATIVE

The BLRC has retained consultants to apply for a FEMA grant known as “BRIC”. The grant request addresses flooding along the Feeder Channel, Rt 360, No Name Creek, the South Fork of the Licking River, Perry County flooding south of Boundary Rd, and the flooding of I-70. If the grant request is successful, the improvements to general “quality of life” will be a game changer for the Region. The grant must be submitted in the Fall with successful applicants notified a few months after that.  This broad partnership of state agencies and the business community couldn’t happen without support from Licking, Fairfield and Perry counties.  BLRC thanks the commissioners.

 BUCKEYE LAKE AREA STAR SPANGLED TRADITION

Late last summer Tory Wolfe inquired if BLRC would be interested in assuming operation of the Buckeye Lake Region Tradition known as BLASST. Tory has led BLASST for decades, and the event is quite dear to her. BLRC has assumed the non-profit BLASST entity, and the new board consists of Ann Fornataro; Chair; Casey Clark, Secretary; Rich Smith, Treasurer; Lisa Stewart; Social Media and Andy Wolfe; Logistics. As the “Advisory Board”, Tory and past board members Charlie Prince and Erin West will guide the new board. Everyone that has enjoyed the fireworks owes a debt of gratitude to Tory and her board members. Learn more about the origins of BLASST by visiting www.buckeyelakebeacon.net/articles/blassts-past/. As the event draws near details will be posted on the BLASST and BLRC Facebook Pages.  Editor’s Note: A bequest from John W. Wolfe via the Robert F. Wolfe and Edgar T. Wolfe Foundation at The Columbus Foundation jump-starts BLASST’s annual community campaign to keep this Buckeye Lake tradition alive. His bequest provides the “seed money”, but your help is needed to keep BLASST alive. Please send your tax-deductible contribution, with checks made payable to BLASST, to: BLASST, PO Box 1524, Buckeye Lake OH 43008. All monies donated will support BLASST. Thank you for your support!

2021 BLRC BOARD MEMBERS: The BLRC Board of Trustees consists of your neighbors from all corners of the Buckeye Lake Region. Curious about is on the board? Check out the full roster at www.blrc2036.org/who-we-are.html

CHAMPIONS OF THE LAKE

The highest level of business donors. Please support those that support your community!

OUR DONORS

These are but a few of the projects that the Buckeye Lake Region Corporation is working on every day. While grants may pay for projects, day-to-day expenses are supported by the generous donations of individuals and businesses. To see who is funding this important initiative, to donate or to learn more about what BLRC is doing, please visit www.BLRC2036.org. You are always welcome to email Mike Fornataro at mfornataro@buckeyelake2030.org

Want to receive email updates? Contact Mike at mfornataro@buckeyelake2030.org

Lake Affect: Winter Update

 

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!

Improving Buckeye Lake Watershed Quality: New Study

 

The Perry Soil and Water Conservation District recently released its report and strategic improvement plan for water quality in Buckeye Lake and the Buckeye Lake Reservoir. The report, authored by Sebastian Teas, will serve as a wide-reaching document, consolidating implementation strategies across Licking, Fairfield and Perry counties.

Buckeye Lake for Tomorrow (BLT), a 501(c)(3) corporation that
undertook the on-the-ground data collection in the Buckeye Lake watershed, took the lead on writing this document with assistance from Fairfield Soil and Water Conservation District. The Buckeye Lake Region Corporation was also instrumental in gathering support for water quality improvements in the lake. The Fairfield, Licking and Perry Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) now carry the baton for planning project-specific goals with quantifiable targets for nonpoint-source pollution reduction.

The infographic below highlights key findings and actions from the study:

The full study can be viewed and downloaded here: https://www.blrc2036.org/assets/blnpsis_v01_20200722.pdf