By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
With its water and sewer division building bursting at the seams, Bowling Green officials may spend $500,000 to purchase neighboring property.
The Bowling Green Board of Public Utilities heard a proposal Monday evening from Public Utilities Director Brian O’Connell to purchase 1.57 acres at 315 and 325 N. Grove St. The property sits just to the east of the city’s water and sewer division at 324 N. Maple St.
“This would save us from having to look for more space outside our area,” O’Connell told the board. “It’s a good long-term decision for water and sewer.”
For some time, the water and sewer division has been in need of additional building space and parking. The city had budgeted $130,000 for concrete drive and parking improvements at the site to accommodate current staff. However, there was no ability to expand the building.
Recently, a neighboring property owner, Alan Stoots, approached the city about buying his property – which was formerly the site of BG Block and Lumber. There are several buildings on the property, with some being rented to tenants for storage, commercial and residential uses. According to Stoots, the rental income is about $47,000 annually.
Stoots was asking $520,000 for the property. The city hired a real estate appraiser, who said the value of the property was $450,000. After several discussions with Stoots, the city agreed to a purchase price of $500,000, O’Connell said.
While that amount is 11 percent above the appraised value, O’Connell said the property is more valuable to the city because of the water and sewer division location and need for space.
“We’re kind of at the seams right now,” O’Connell said. “This will get us some additional building space that we could use from day one.”
The site would secure a long-term home for the water and sewer division, and possibly provide room for future growth, he said. The water and sewer division could use three of the buildings on the property, totaling about 10,000 square feet, for cold storage of materials, hydrants, valves, topsoil and sand.
The city’s electric division currently has transformers and other equipment sitting outside on the North Maple Street property.
“Anytime you have equipment outside, it’s additional wear and tear,” O’Connell said.
The city plans to continue renting out the buildings currently being leased, which will potentially generate $47,000 a year.
The public utilities office has $750,000 in its budget for property acquisition, but City Council’s approval will be needed to buy the acreage.
In other business, the board of public utilities:
- Heard the electric division will be changing poles on Ohio 25 in front of Home Depot.
- Learned that Manville Avenue will be paved after Labor Day.
- Approved advertising for bids for building repairs for the water pollution control plant’s solids handling and maintenance building. The repairs are expected to cost around $130,000.
- Learned the EPA recently visited the water treatment plant and certified it chemically for the next three years.