Lakeside residents to welcome public


Buck Lakeside Village

Photo by Clarke Davis
R.L. Buck, a director on the Lakeside Village Improvement District board, stands next to a sign that honors his late friend, Ray Lowder, who wanted to see the boat ramp repaired and reopened to the public. This is just one improvement the public will see when they tour the subdivision during an open house Oct. 17.


by Clarke Davis
There is a renewed community spirit at work in Lakeside Village, a 150-house subdivision on Perry Lake’s east side. So many improvements have been made that the community believes it’s time to celebrate.
A number of events are going to be staged at Lakeside Village from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, that will include an antique car show and a number of displays by the Fairview Fire Department, Jefferson County DARE officers, and emergency management’s CodeRED. The LifeStar air ambulance has been invited.
One celebrity ballplayer will be present and maybe others who have not confirmed. Steve Jeltz, 56, a shortstop for the Kansas City Royals who was traded to the Phillies, will be signing autographs. Jeltz is a native of France. A switch-hitter, Jeltz hit two home runs against the Pirates June 8, 1989, one from the right side of the plate and one from the left side.
Residents are contributing to a yard sale and the only price will be a free-will donation. Lunch will be served with donations benefitting the fire department.
Heading up the day is Allison Blodig, a real estate agent who lives in neighboring Apple Valley Farm. She will be giving tours of the subdivision to show off the prime building lots and the many amenities that can be found there. The rain date will be Oct. 24.
R.L. Buck — everyone calls him “Buck” — beams with pride in talking about the improvments that have taken place the past two to three years. He along with Ashley Lowder and Tammy Arfmann are the elected directors of the improvement district.
A Lakeside Village resident for 18 years, Buck is not sure what happened — why things got into the shape they did, but that’s all changed.
“There’s been a phenomenal turnaround since 2013,” he said.
The boat ramp has been repaired and is open to the public, the club house and swimming pool reopened this summer, the baseball diamond is undergoing improvements, and there are plans to open a library and an exercise gym the first of the year — all with donated equipment and books.
The surveillance office at the entrance is being improved and is equipped with security cameras. A Neighborhood Watch program has been activated.
“I think it was the community garden that got it started,” Buck said. “That seemed to be the thing that brought people together and started them working as neighbors again.”
A number of properties got cleaned up as well.
“Rather than make demands, people showed up with an offer to help,” he said. “That made a lot of difference in people’s attitudes. We had a few who did not want to comply and they pulled up stakes and left.”
Regarding helping people, Buck named the “tree amigos,” Steve Smith, Bret Husier, Creag McDaniels, and himself who saw wood and donate it to people in need to help with heating bills.
Buck likes to show off the boat ramp area that has a sign dedicating the improvements to the late Ray Lowder. He was Buck’s friend and he said the turnaround pretty much started with Ray three years ago.
It could be that the biggest improvements are yet to come. Buck said the improvement district has a five-year plan under which they intend to work with Jefferson County to make some big changes. A large area once used for camping has been eliminated for that purpose, but the area will need to be replatted and the lots made larger for building sites.
Furthermore, the board agreed to take ownership of lots from people who no longer wanted to own them and that resulted in getting deeds to 60 lots.
“These people never lived here but did pay taxes, assessments, and water bills over the years,” he said. “Some are elderly and their children lack interest for whatever reason, so we have agreed to take back the lots.”
The improvement district purchased a Bobcat and brushcutter to clear the land.
Buck called the district clerk, Paula Smith, “our hub on the wheel to success” and complimented maintenance personnel Larry Knots and Dale Arfmann for their dedication along with Alisa Butler, lifeguard and after-school child care.
“It’s taken a lot of people working together to make a difference and our residents have been very receptive,” Buck said.
So what’s next?
“I’ve heard frisbie golf is a big deal. Maybe we need one of those courses,” he said.

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Posted by on Oct 20 2015. Filed under Featured, The Vindicator. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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