Business

Rapid Fired Pizza to open BG location

Ed. note: The company now reports that the target date to open the new store is March 1, 2017.   Submitted by RAPID FIRED PIZZA Rapid Fired Pizza is happy to announce yet another new location coming soon to Southwood Plaza, 816 S. Main St. in Bowling Green. The new store is scheduled to open in December “We felt Bowling Green was a great community and was a market we just had to be in!” said Kelly Gray a co-founder. This restaurant will be operated by a franchise group planning at least five stores in the northern Ohio market including the Lima location that will open in August. The Bowling Green location features 4,500-square-feet and will have enough seating for 100 people. “We were looking for easy access for students, residents and area professionals plus with our new online ordering system, it will be easy to skip the line and have your freshly made pizza or salad ready for a quick bite between classes or on a lunch break.” Gray said. Rapid Fired Pizza allows customers to choose from an 11” thin or 9” pan pizza, eight sauces, eight cheeses, over thirty toppings, and fourteen dipping sauces to build their perfect pizza, or try one of the 10 craft pizzas on the menu. It’s then cooked in 180 seconds. Customers can also order craft or custom salads in addition to breadsticks and desserts. The concept was founded in Kettering. Less than 1-year-old, Rapid Fired Pizza has 11 locations under construction or open with the signing of this location. Opening dates will continue to be announced on the website. A typical Rapid Fired Pizza location employs 20-30 people. “Because of our simplified operations and low cost of entry, we’ve experienced tremendous growth over the last few months and are preparing to bring an amazingly good, amazingly fast pizza to other states in the very near future” said Ray Wiley, a co-founder. “We have a strong team that is dedicated to building the…


Library board accepts low bid on Walbridge project

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The price tag of the addition and renovation of the Walbridge Branch of the Wood County District Public Library is coming in under budget. The library’s board Tuesday accepted a general contractor bid of $849,000 from Midwest Construction of Holland. The board also accepted the company’s bid of $3,350 for shades. The administration has decided not to pursue a second alternate bid for benches and plantings. Library Director Michael Penrod said they will wait until the project is finished to do that work. The estimated cost for the bid was $1 million. Of the 10 bids submitted seven were under that number. Tom Stuckey, the project administrator, said to have that number of bids submitted was “phenomenal.” The one concern with the Midwest bid was how much under it was the others. The unsuccessful bids ranged from $929,800 from Spieker to $1,165,777 from Cross renovation. Penrod said he was pleased so many area firms were interested in the project. Several board members questioned the low bid. Stuckey said he did go back to talk to company officials, and they assured him they “capable and confident that they are ready to proceed.” Stuckey said he’s worked with the company on other projects. “They’re a capable company. They’ve been around a long time. They have the wherewithal to do this project.” Ellen Dalton wondered if they might cut corners, or if they were hiring cheap labor. Stuckey said he will be on the site monitoring construction. The company hires union labor, and all workers must be paid prevailing wage. He said that sometimes how low a bid comes in is determined by what the subcontractors say they can do their parts of the projects for. Some companies may have a single preferred subcontractor, and therefore don’t get a lower price. Stuckey praised the board for its work on the project. “There will be great pride in this. I’m looking forward to the groundbreaking.”      …


Chamber seeking applicants for Leadership BG

From BG CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Applications are available to participate in the 2016-2017 Leadership BG Program, sponsored by the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce. Leadership BG is a fantastic opportunity to be immersed into different components of the BG community, meet decision makers, participate in mini seminars on leadership/communication/team building, develop life-long connections with classmates, and give back to the community via a class project. Since its inception in 1992, 507 graduates have completed the program! A 1-day per month commitment for 9 months is required. Program components include city and county governments, health care industry, social services, municipal and county judicial systems, manufacturing, and education. Leadership BG also gives participants an opportunity to take part in a community service project (uniquely designed by the class), enabling the group to work together toward a common goal while administering their leadership style. After completion of the class, participants become a part of the Leadership BG Alumni Association. The LBGAA continues the education/leadership process by providing networking and coalition building and supports philanthropic endeavors through fundraisers. To apply for this beneficial advancement opportunity, download application and cover sheet at www.bgchamber.net or obtain a copy from the Chamber Office, 130 S. Main St. Applications are due by August 19th, 2016. Prompt return of applications is highly advisable as the class size is limited. The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce is a professional network that creates relationships between businesses, customers and community. We support our investors by offering value-added benefits, discounts on health insurance, business improvement seminars, networking programs, legislative updates, and educational opportunities through scholarships and grants. For more information contact the BG Chamber at (419) 353-7945 or visit www.bgchamber.net.


“Clean Sweep” of Downtown BG set for July 16

Submitted by DOWNTOWN BOWLING GREEN A “Clean Sweep” service project is schedule in the Downtown Bowling Green Special Improvement District with the President’s Leadership Academy on Saturday, July 16, as a service project.  The group will be removing litter and pulling weeds in the blocks from Clay Street to Lehman both on Main Street and the side streets that encompass the downtown area.   Republic Services will be furnishing t-shirts and work gloves for the volunteers and the Black Swamp Arts Council will be loaning their brooms and dustpans. The Sidney A. Ribeau President’s Leadership Academy (PLA) is a four-year leadership development program that engages scholars in classes, workshops, experiential learning, and community service activities. The curriculum focuses on specific outcomes, with each year’s experience building on those of the previous year. Newly accepted students begin their leadership academy experience in July with an intensive four-week summer program that allows them to experience college life firsthand. Students take college-level courses, read selected leadership texts, participate in seminars and community service events, and take part in various cultural, educational, and experiential learning excursions on the weekends.  Downtown Bowling Green is a non-profit organization that is in place to manage the needs of the merchants and property owners.  Service organizations are always welcome to help in projects like this one as well as for any of the events held downtown including the Farmers Market, Classics on Main and Winterfest.   If you would like more information about these opportunities or would like to sign up for a volunteer shift please email info@downtownbgohio.org with your name, email, phone number, and volunteer opportunity shift in question. You can also call Downtown BG at (419) 354-4332 or stop by our office at 130 S. Main Street.


Zoning change allows The Beat to go on

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   With some fancy footwork, Bowling Green Planning Commission tweaked the city’s zoning code to allow a dance studio to build a new facility in the Bellard Business Park. Bowling Green Economic Development Executive Director Sue Clark asked that the M-3 zoning classification be expanded to allow for a dance studio. Clark explained to the planning commission Wednesday evening that The Beat dance program has been asked to leave its current location at 1060 N. Main St., in order to make room for another tenant. Clark said she looked at several possible sites with the client, but could not find a suitable home for the business which has about 200 students and needs parking for 30 to 35 vehicles at a time. So the owner, Colleen Murphy, has decided to build instead. “We have done an extensive search for appropriate properties to build on and this location keeps surfacing as the best fit,” Clark said in a letter to the city planning office. “I showed her a lot of places,” Clark said Wednesday evening. “She kept coming back to Bellard.” Several of the dance students live in Perrysburg, according to Clark. “She really wanted to stay on the north end of town.” The business purchased the northernmost two acres of the business park near the corner of Newton and Brim roads, and is planning to build a facility of about 7,300 square feet. “We think this will be compatible,” with the area, Clark said. But under the current zoning code, it is not permitted. The zoning code allowed indoor sports training facilities, defined as for baseball, basketball, batting cages, boxing, cheerleading, gymnastics, martial arts, soccer and volleyball courts. The language specifically rules out ice and roller skating rinks, bowling alleys, racquet and tennis clubs, paintball arenas, billiard halls, archery and shooting ranges. Dance and yoga classes, as well as health and fitness clubs were previously on the list of not permitted activities, but…


Applebee’s pulls zoning variance request in BG

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   For Bowling Green residents hungry for an Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar in the city, this may not be good news. Applebee’s filed for a zoning variance in June to allow for more parking spots at a potential location on South Main Street. But that request for a variance has been pulled, according to Bowling Green Planning Director Heather Sayler. “It was out of the blue,” Sayler said, adding that she was not told why the engineering firm, Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc., withdrew the request. Calls by BG Independent News to the engineering firm in Chicago were not returned. But Sayler said she has gotten mixed messages from the engineering firm, with the city planning office being told to “keep on hold” the request filed for a zoning permit for the restaurant. “I wish I knew more, but I don’t,” Sayler said on Friday. The withdrawal of the variance request was on the agenda of the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals’ meeting on July 13. The casual dining restaurant had requested a variance to allow more parking spots than now permitted at a site at 1175 S. Main St., near Home Depot on the south edge of the city. The request sought a variance to allow 11 parking spaces that would have encroached 5 feet into the required 5-foot setback to the north and east. “The city has definitely been in communication” with representatives of Applebee’s, Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards said last month. Sayler had been working with an Applebee’s representative to find a location for the restaurant, he said. “They definitely have been showing interest,” the mayor said of Applebee’s. “They were looking at different sites,” specifically along East Wooster Street near Interstate 75, Edwards said. But the restaurant chain seemed more interested in the South Main Street location, closer to U.S. 6 traffic.  


County cool to solar field request for tax break – commissioners want more information

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The prospect of Bowling Green having the largest solar field in Ohio appeals to county officials – but they don’t like to be kept in the dark about tax abatement details. So on Tuesday, company officials involved in building and operating the solar field northeast of the city were asked to explain their request for a 30-year tax break for the $43 million project. Wood County Commissioner Doris Herringshaw noted the confusion on the part of NextEra Energy officials about needing to outline their request. But she explained that the commissioners have a policy of meeting in person with any company that wants tax breaks. “We certainly feel it’s something we need to know as much as we can about,” Herringshaw explained to representatives of NextEra Energy and AMP Ohio. The tax abatement request for the solar field is unlike those that normally come before the commissioners. First, the amount is massive, giving a tax break of $10 million over just the first 15 years. Second, the duration is proposed at 30 years, compared to the customary 10 to 15 years. Third, there is no ongoing employment, which is the basis for most tax breaks. Construction of the solar field will employ about 85 people from July 18 to Dec. 31. And 80 percent of those people are required to be Ohio residents – but there is no requirement that they come from Wood County. Fourth, regular tax abatements require that school districts be “made whole” by the business getting the tax break, but this agreement does not. The company will pay some money to local taxing authorities “in lieu of” the tax breaks, but not the entire amount. One other concern is that the solar array will be built using panels from Hanwha – not Wood County’s First Solar company.  Jared Haines, of NextEra Energy, said his company has an ongoing relationship with Hanwha, which produces solar panels that have a…


Pipeline company donates $5,000 to BG Community Foundation

Pipeline project donates $5,000 to BG Community Foundation The Bowling Green Community Foundation received a donation Friday (July 1) from Kinder Morgan, developer of the Utopia East Pipeline project, to support its activities and initiatives to improve the quality of life of all Bowling Green community members. Allen Fore, vice president of public affairs for Kinder Morgan, presented a check for $5,000 to Bowling Green Community Foundation Board President, Tony Hetrick, during a meeting with foundation’s board of directors to learn more about its programs.


Easement granted for Brathaus expansion

By DAVID DUPONT BG INDEPENDENT NEWS The Bowling Green Board of Public Utilities approved an easement that will allow Brathaus on East Court Street to expand. Utilities Director Brian O’Connell said that Doug Doren, who owns the bar, wants to extend the bar, but that would place a building over a manhole. The city would redirect the sewer, which now heads north toward Oak Street, to connect with the line down South Main Street. While digging, O’Connell said, the city will bury the utilities lines. That will allow it to take down a large laminant utility pole across the street from Brathaus on East Court. O’Connell said that the estimate for doing the work was more than Doren had anticipated, so the expansion may be delayed until spring. O’Connell said he would discuss the project with the owner. O’Connell suggested that the city share the expense of the project by assuming the cost of burying the electric lines, which is not essential for the bar expansion to proceed. That work would benefit the city, he said. Doren controls most of the neighboring properties, but the Gavarone family, which owns Mr. Spots, would have to agree. In voting for the easement, board member Bill Culbertson said: “It’s a good idea. It cleans things up.” The board also approved an easement for a water line to cross the parking lot in front of the Dairy Queen. That line now dead ends where Grant Street bumps into the railroad tracks. That causes concerns for water pressure in the case of a fire. That line will now connect with the line that runs up East Wooster Street. That would also enable further improvements if the six-inch line that now runs down Enterprise Street is upgraded to an eight-inch line. Answering a query from Mayor Dick Edwards, Daryl Stockburger, assistant utilities director, explained that one of the wind turbines is not operating because the city is waiting for parts for a gearbox. Wind turbine parts,…


Water & sewer district wants to know how it’s doing

From NORTHWESTERN WATER & SEWER DISTRICT The Northwestern Water & Sewer District recently launched a digital survey to its customers, contractors, vendors, and other organizations it deals with to gauge satisfaction levels and the quality of the work the District does. According to Jerry Greiner, President of Northwestern Water Sewer District, “We need feedback so we can see how we are doing, and just as importantly, find out what we could do better.” Greiner continues “Primarily we are focusing on our customers, but we also want feedback from organizations we do business with such as our contractors, other government agencies, and even media organizations.” The survey strives to create a baseline or current snapshot of satisfaction and quality, and then will proceed with a comprehensive analysis of the data and information. According to Gavin Smith, Director of GIS and IT at the District “We are going to intently study the results and communicate the results in a way that illustrates our current position across many measured factors, but then we will use this as a starting point to help us keep our strengths impactful while identifying and correcting weaknesses.” Additionally, the District plans follow up surveys, and maybe even focus groups, on a consistent long term schedule to create a constant feedback loop. Freelance marketer and public relations guru Tom Konecny, who helps the District with these types of tasks adds “Evaluation and continuous improvement is critical. For example, a laborer in a factory, a teller at a bank, or even a nurse at a hospital are continually evaluated so that current performance is measured and future performance is enhanced- certainly organizations should do this as well!” The District asks that its customers and all the other organizations associated with them take a brief five minutes to complete this survey. The survey is readily available on the District website. www.nwwwsd.org. The survey is also available on the NWWSD Facebook Page and Twitter feed.


Closing time for Jed’s but downtown still open for business

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Jed’s, home of chicken Fireballs, has flamed out in downtown. Still the owner of the Millikin Hotel building on downtown Bowling Green’s Four Corner is confident he’ll find a new tenant for the former Jed’s space. The sports bar and grill closed for business on Monday. A call to the owners has not been returned. Bob Maurer, who owns the building, said all he knows about why the business closed is “just economics.” The Jed’s restaurant in Perrysburg remains open. “Any time you lose a tenant you want to know what happened, what you could have done to avoid it,” Maurer said. “It’s a good spot. Somebody’s always looking,” he said. “Some people’s problems are another person’s opportunity.” He expects that given there’s been a restaurant in that spot for well over 10 years that another eatery is the most likely option. Maurer expects to have it filled in “four to six months.” Overall Maurer said downtown Bowling Green “is doing extremely well.” He said that compared to Fremont or Napoleon, or even Findlay, Bowling Green’s downtown is thriving. He praised Mayor Dick Edwards and Sue Clark, the executive director of the Community Development Foundation, for their efforts. The Jed’s space in the second vacancy to open up on the Four Corners in the past two months. The Mosaic Consignment shop, which sits kitty-corner from the former Jed’s, closed in May. But that space is already undergoing renovation as another business prepares to occupy it.    


Applebee’s restaurant looks at location in BG

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar is interested in making Bowling Green its new neighbor. The casual dining restaurant has requested a variance from the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals to allow more parking spots than now permitted at a site at 1175 S. Main St., near Home Depot on the south edge of the city. “The city has definitely been in communication” with representatives of Applebee’s, said Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards. The city’s planning director, Heather Sayler, has been working with an Applebee’s representative to find a location for the restaurant, he said. “They definitely have been showing interest,” the mayor said Friday evening. “They were looking at different sites,” specifically along East Wooster Street near Interstate 75, Edwards said. But the restaurant chain seemed more interested in the South Main Street location, closer to U.S. 6 traffic. Edwards said he knows few details right now, with most of the discussions taking place between intermediaries. “It certainly piques my interest,” the mayor said, explaining that Applebee’s is a standby for some travelers. “As we travel around, we often stop there.” The arrival of an Applebee’s in Bowling Green could end the drought of chain restaurants building in the city. And it could quiet the claims that city officials won’t allow chains to locate in Bowling Green since chains might draw business from locally-owned establishments – a charge that the mayor denies. “There’s been no effort by the city to keep out chain restaurants,” Edwards said. “In fact, it’s been quite the opposite.” “Quite the contrary,” he said, explaining that Bowling Green is stuck in a “peculiar web” between Findlay, Perrysburg and Toledo. “And that’s what they look at,” often overlooking Bowling Green. Edwards also mentioned that the city values its locally-owned restaurants. “We cherish those establishments,” he said. Applebee’s variance request will be heard by the Zoning Board of Appeals on July 13, at 7 p.m., in the city council chambers…


Opinion: ‘Her Choice’ does not offer all choices

Opinion piece as submitted by J. Murphy One day I noticed a bright, cheery yellow building with big windows encasing the front with what appeared to be a lotus flower under the words “Her Choice” on them. Wondering what this organization does I decided to speak to a staff member. I found out that Her Choice is a Christian, Pro-Life clinic which offers limited services. While this is itself is not an issue, I do take issue with the fact that the center provides false statistics, inaccurate medical information, and hides behind a façade of a neutral, safe place that educates women on all their choices. While they claim to provide guidance and support for women in need, according to the staff member I spoke with, they also talk to women about certain medical aspects of pregnancy, emergency contraception, and all their options with the exception of abortion. Upon further research I discovered the information they provide in these capacities is medically inaccurate, irrelevant, and/or falsified. The location of Her Choice across from campus and the name “Her Choice” is as strategic as its veiled attempts at “offering choice” and “empowering women.” They may not explicitly say “You cannot have an abortion” however, the messages they imply and sometimes explicitly express are biased, inaccurate, false, and are positioned to encourage women to carry the pregnancy to term under false pretenses. From the moment these women step in the door they feel supported, and guided, but they are being guided under a ruse of an “unbiased organization.” This is not to say this organization does not help some women in their time of need. Her Choice offers two “medical” services: they offer free pregnancy tests, and a free ultrasound at the center. They do not refer for abortions. According to the individual I interviewed they will recommend an ultrasound for three reasons. The first is to “…check for an ectopic pregnancy.” Considering only 1-2% of pregnancies are ectopic, I feel this…


Falcon helped roll out Oval Office carpet

By MATT MARKEY BGSU Office of Marketing & Communications The next time the news cameras are rolling from inside The White House and relaying video from the Oval Office, skip the ornate window dressings, the massive desk and the stoic portraits on the walls, and just focus on the floor. The elegant carpet that President Barack Obama is standing on in his official workplace as he greets foreign dignitaries or huddles with his closest advisors – that carpet has a Falcon imprint on it. There’s no visible logo, no orange and brown threads, but 1978 BGSU graduate Michael Ruggeri leads the company that produced the distinctive piece of floor covering, as well as many others. Ruggeri’s Michigan-based Scott Group Custom Carpets has carved out a unique niche as the leading producer of high-end, one-of-a-kind, ultra-premium carpets. The firm has created a variety of rugs for The White House, including the prestigious Oval Office rug for two different administrations. “In our industry, the Oval Office is the pinnacle,” Ruggeri said about Scott Group being selected to work with The White House interior designers for both the Obama and Clinton presidencies. Each president decorates the Oval Office to suit his tastes, and President Obama selected an oval-shaped rug made of 25 percent recycled wool. This rug features the Presidential Seal in the center, and around its border carries five historical quotations of significance from Martin Luther King, Jr. and Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy. As you would expect, discretion is critical when preparing décor for the home of the president, so when a specific order for The White House arrives at the Scott manufacturing facility in Grand Rapids, Ruggeri said it carries a code name to keep the eventual destination under wraps as long as possible. But once the Oval Office carpet is completed, there comes a time for all of the company employees to take a photo-op standing alongside the soon-to-be-famous rug. “Everything we…


New $70 million Rossford project ties into casino

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent Media ROSSFORD – A new $70 million project will provide hotel rooms, conference space, restaurants and shops across from the Hollywood Casino Toledo. Project RED, for Rossford Entertainment District, was announced this morning inside the casino by officials of NAI Harmon Group. Dallas Paul, the broker for the project, said it will include a 150-room hotel with connecting conference center. A major focus of the 100,000 square feet of retail space will be fine dining and fast casual restaurants with cuisine that complements what is offered across Miami Street in the casino. There will also be some boutique shopping available. ED Harmon, the company president, said the Toledo-based firm has the global connections to find the right tenants for the development. The project will take about two and half years to complete, Paul said. The land is currently an open field owned by Hunger Manufacturing. The first step will be a $1.3 million connector road that will be constructed by the Ohio Department of Transportation. That road has a completion date of spring, 2017. The project will also have a people mover transit system, which will be called the RED Skyway, to take people between Project RED and the casino. Paul said when completed the project will employ about 1,000 people in service jobs. Rossford Mayor Neil MacKinnon said the development furthers Rossford’s evolution into “a new live, work, play community.” The development that’s so closely linked to the casino, which is in Toledo, only strengthens Rossford’s ties to its neighbor to the north, especially the attractions in Toledo’s downtown, MacKinnon said. Beth Genson, the director of the Rossford Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Project RED fills a gap in Rossford’s offerings. Four new hotels have gone up in the Crossroads area to the south of the Rossford downtown, and she’s been trying to attract convention business. But while the beds are available, meeting spaces are not. Genson said those planning conventions want conference spaces…