Buckeye Lake Business Owners Prepare For Disappointing Boating Season

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For 24 years, Tammy Benge has considered Buckeye Lake a staple in her community.  "My dad and I would get on the water on their pontoon boat and we'd be on the boat for eight hours," she said.

But now her staple has hit a low tide.

"Oh, it makes me sick," she said. "I feel so bad for these people. It's terrible."

Read more on the latest developments at Buckeye Lake

Dave Levacy is one of those people.  He's owned Buckeye Lake Marina for 46 years. He's also a Fairfield County commissioner. He says the recent problems with Buckeye Lake Dam are bad for business.

On average, Levacy says he sells 300 brand new boats every year. This year, he says he's looking at a decrease in sales of about 40 percent. As a result, he and his team have been taking to social media and Facebook to promote his business in other areas with large bodies of water.

"The cards have been played and we're going to make the best of it," he said.  Making the best of it until a solution is found.  "The time factor in getting this project underway and completed by a certain date is paramount," Levacy said.

Levacy says he's appreciative of Gov. Kasich's words of wanting to rebuild the dam, but he's concerned because there is no time table on when that might happen. He says he is currently talking to a handful of state legislators hoping to find up front funding to restore the dam sooner.

Benge says she hopes Buckeye Lake and its businesses will soon return to how she's always remembered it: filled with life.  "They have to fix it...it's Buckeye Lake," she said.