BG to get a new look – and new smell – in 2018

Sign posted in city's Wooster Green

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN

BG Independent News

 

Bowling Green will be getting some makeovers this year. People entering the city from Interstate 75 will encounter a new look on East Wooster Street and less odors from the wastewater plant.

In the downtown area, the new Wooster Green is scheduled to get a gazebo this spring.

Mayor Dick Edwards, one of the main forces behind the Wooster Green project, reported to City Council Tuesday that in late April or early May, the gazebo will be built on the Wooster Green at the corner of West Wooster and South Church streets.

Edwards also noted that more than $230,000 had already been pledged for the project. A sign has been erected in the green space, showing the proposed entry for the community gathering space.

The East Wooster Street corridor is getting multiple crosswalks, which should be completed this spring, Public Works Director Brian Craft reported. Preliminary work will begin for the roundabouts at the Interstate 75 interchanges.

Public Utilities Director Brian O’Connell said odor control measures will be installed at the wastewaster plant this spring. The plant, which sits along I-75, has been the source of many complaints about unappealing odors.

And the city will begin tackling goals of the Community Action Plan – Neighborhood Revitalization Project. Planning Director Heather Sayler reported that the presentation of the Community Action Plan will be Feb. 28, at 6 p.m., in the Wood County Courthouse Atrium.

On the business side, the mayor and Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter will be joining BG Economic Development Director Sue Clark for their annual visits to local manufacturers and other businesses in the community. Edwards said the visits are “eye-opening experiences” that are “reassuring.”

“From all reports to date, we have every reason to believe that the economic growth and robust economic climate experienced by the city will continue in 2018,” Edwards said.

The city hosted 30 ribbon cutting ceremonies in 2017 – a record, the mayor said.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, retiring Fire Chief Tom Sanderson was recognized by many city officials for a job very well done. (BG Independent News will have a feature story on Sanderson later this week.) Bill Moorman will be sworn in as the city’s new fire chief on Feb. 5.

In other business, council member Bruce Jeffers asked about the new bike sharrows “taking a beating” from the snowplows. Craft explained that the sharrows come off easily when hit by snowplow blades. They will have to be repainted, he said.

Jeffers also asked about the possible impact of business income tax collection changes, which will allow the state to keep a portion of the tax revenue. Rob Wright, city tax commissioner, said the impact will depend on the number of businesses that opt into the state collection program. So far, just six or seven Bowling Green businesses have signed up.

In other business at Tuesday’s meeting:

  • The mayor reported that interim BGSU President Rodney Rogers has assured him that the various projects involving the city and university will continue despite the retirement of Mary Ellen Mazey. Rogers also reaffirmed BGSU’s commitment to communication between the city and university.
  • Council was reminded of a city council planning session being held Saturday at 9 a.m., in council chambers.
  • O’Connell reported the city has experienced very few power outages or water breaks due to winter weather.
  • Tretter reminded that citizens could make it easier for public works crews to clear snow if they got their vehicles off the street.
  • Parks and Recreation Director Kristin Otley noted that the 12th annual Brown Bag Music Series starts on Friday, at 12:15 p.m., and runs for seven consecutive Fridays.
  • Council went into executive session to discuss pending litigation. No action was taken when council reconvened.
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