By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Bowling Green City Council on Monday pushed through a land swap that will allow a business park to expand, and started the process to possibly add two additional roundabouts in the city.
Council voted to suspend the rules requiring three readings of a land trade ordinance for Wood Bridge Business Park on the northeast edge of the city. Council voted unanimously to support the swap.
A developer has purchased 43 acres just east of the Wood Bridge Business Park for warehousing and logistic services. The warehouse space will benefit existing Wood Bridge businesses, since many of them will use that space for storage which will allow them then to expand manufacturing spaces.
That will create more jobs – which will increase income tax revenues for the city. The business park currently brings in nearly $1 million for Bowling Green City Schools each year, according to City Solicitor Mike Marsh.
The extension of Wood Bridge Business Park to the east opens up the possibility for the park’s expansion to the south – eventually connecting with Bowling Green Road East. It would become an L-shaped development around the Meijer store.
But to expand the business park to the south means a land swap with Richard and Judith Carpenter, who own the 65 acres east of Meijer.
Marsh thanked the Carpenters for being willing to trade farm land.
“They are supporters of our community and huge supporters of our school system,” he said.
The deal goes like this:
- The city will trade approximately 80 acres of farmland east of the solar field, near Carter and Newton roads, for the north 20 acres of the Carpenter farm property.
- The city will have an option to purchase the remaining 45 acres south of the 20 acres acquired in this agreement. The price per acre will be $30,000 an acre for the first 15 acres, $35,000 per acre for the next 15, and $45,000 per acre for the remaining acreage.
- The purchase option will have a term of 10 years.
- Carpenter will be permitted to continue farming the 20 acres until it is sold for industrial uses.
- Carpenter may extend a city water service line to their house on Carter Road.
- The city will provide a farm access lane to the 80-acre parcel from Carter Road. Carpenter will maintain the farm access lane.
- The total 65 acres in the agreement will be annexed to the city and rezoned for industrial development.
Council president Mike Aspacher said the trade is a “winning proposition” for the city. “All of us are aware of the benefits of Wood Bridge,” he said.
Also on Monday, Bowling Green City Council heard the first readings of resolutions for two more roundabouts on East Wooster Street.
The city is already working with the Ohio Department of Transportation on roundabouts at the Interstate 75 interchanges on East Wooster Street. The resolutions before council on Monday involved the intersections of East Wooster at Campbell Hill and Dunbridge roads.
If approved, ODOT would pay 80 percent of the roundabout costs, with Bowling Green paying the remaining 20 percent. That means for the Campbell Hill rotary, estimated to cost $1,525,000, Bowling Green would pay $310,000 plus $153,000 for project preparation. For the Dunbridge Road rotary, estimated to cost $935,000, Bowling Green’s share would be $190,000, plus $95,000 for project preparation.
The Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments is seeking transportation projects that might qualify for the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program. Roundabouts often qualify since they allow traffic to continue moving at a steady pace unlike regular intersections that require motorists to stop and go.
In addition to creating less air pollution, city officials are interested in the roundabouts because the East Wooster Street Concept Plan identified these locations for intersection improvements, including a “new look” for the corridor. The plan calls for a calmer and more aesthetically pleasing entrance to the city with a landscaped median as part of that concept.
Since the East Wooster corridor is the “front door” to the community, the plan suggested increasing trees, calming traffic and adding improvements for pedestrians.
Another benefit, according to city officials, is that fewer left hand turns into and out of businesses will be required because of the roundabouts. That is expected to decrease the number of serious vehicle crashes in the corridor.
The funding decisions will not be made until December. If Bowling Green is awarded funds, the money may not be available until 2022 or later.
Applications for the funds are due June 2, so City Council will be asked to give the resolutions their first readings on Monday, then their second and third readings on May 15.
Also on Monday, City Council gave the first reading to an ordinance allowing the city to advertise for bids and enter contracts for leasing city land for agricultural purposes. The city currently leases nine locations to farmers. Following are the locations, acreage and the rent per acre:
- 25 acres on Van Camp Road, east of Brim Road, $177.77/acre.
- 32 acres at the northwest corner of West Poe Road and Green Road, $225/acre.
- 69 acres at the southeast corner of Carter Road and Newton Road, $301/acre.
- 5 acres at the northeast corner of Brim Road and Newton Road, $177.77/acre.
- 36 acres on Napoleon Road, east of Dunbridge Road, $177.77/acre.
- 20 acres at the southeast corner of Brim and Bishop roads, $177.77/acre.
- 15 acres at King Road (west), $262/acre.
- 29 acres at King Road (east), $241/acre.
- 76 acres at the northeast corner of Hull Prairie and Ovitt roads, $282/acre.
The current leases all expire at the end of 2017. The new lease contracts will continue to be for three-year terms.