Community

BG plans ahead for another water treatment reservoir

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green officials plan to spend $220,000 to buy some acreage for another water treatment reservoir. A few years ago, the city purchased 76 acres on Hull Prairie Road with the thought of putting another reservoir there in the future. The one problem was a house that sat on four acres in the center of the acreage at 23134 Hull Prairie Road. But the owner of the house, Jay Largent, has now asked if the city is interested in purchasing his house and the four acres for the appraised price of $220,000. The Board of Public Utilities voted Monday evening to do so. “This could be advantageous for us,” Director of Public Utilities Brian O’Connell said, explaining that 80 acres is much more desirable than 76 acres with a house in the middle. “It does give us a more viable site for a reservoir.” A larger reservoir would provide additional raw water storage as well as better quality raw water to the plant. Until the new reservoir is needed and the house is demolished, the city may rent it out to make some income. Or the city may trade the land for other acreage closer to the water treatment plant that is four miles away from the Hull Prairie acreage. According to O’Connell, there’s enough money for the land acquisition in the 2017 Water & Sewer Capital Improvement Fund. Also at Monday’s meeting, the board of public utilities voted to enter an agreement with the Wood County Port Authority to help extend services to a new portion of the Woodbridge Business Park….

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BG looks for best of bad options to raise general fund

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   It’s rare for Bowling Green City Council to use movie quotes to explain city predicaments. But on Monday, dialogue from the movie “Argo” just seemed to fit the options being considered to help the city’s general fund recover, according to council member Bob McOmber. “We only have bad options available,” McOmber said. That set the scene for the Committee of the Whole’s job Monday evening. The council members were tasked with narrowing down the bad options to the best of the bad for building the city’s general fund back up after federal and state funding cuts. Nine options were presented Monday evening. Four were eliminated after getting very little support from council members. Those dropped from the list were: Raising the city income tax. Cutting police and/or fire divisions. Cutting the city arborist. Eliminating tax reciprocity. That leaves five options still on the list: Redistribute the city income tax. Privatize city trash collection. Continue offering city trash collection, but charge a fee. Charge an assessment for tree services. Reduce city funds that are assisting other entities. The budget for 2017 lists revenue of $14,996,197 and appropriations of $15,623,253 – which means it is cutting into the balance by $627,056, and is not sustainable. The losses seen in the general fund are ongoing, so while the shortfall in this year’s budget has been identified as $627,056, the structural deficit is actually more – closer to $800,000 or $1 million a year. Raising the city’s 2 percent income tax rate got very weak support from council. McOmber said 2 percent is pretty standard for…


“This coming holiday season, we will gather together around a smaller tree that can serve as BG’s tree for another 30 years of memories” — Michael Penrod

The annual lighting of BG’s Community Holiday Tree has been a tradition for just over 30 years and the Wood County District Public Library is proud to host BG’s Tree. Because it is important to the Library that the tree remain a vital part of the holiday season for Main Street for many years to come, we have worried about the health of the tree for more than a few years. Branches have died, or lost many of their needles, and the tree is swaying more and more with every strong windstorm. Recently, the Library checked with an arborist who, when examining the tree in detail last week, found indications of a disease that causes branches to die from the ground upward. While the tree many live for a few more years, we do not want it to get into such a poor condition that it no longer looks nice as the community’s tree. BG deserves a beautiful tree filled with holiday lights. We also do not want to purchase a lot of expensive decorations for a large tree and then have to replace the tree with a smaller one. Therefore, after much deliberation – and reluctance – the Library has decided that it is better to replace the current tree with a new, healthy one that will be able to serve as BG’s tree for many years to come. Later this Spring, we will work with the City to plant a new tree in the same location. This coming holiday season, we will gather together around a smaller tree that can serve as BG’s tree for another 30 years…


Community tree has seen its last Christmas; new tree will be planted in place

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Downtown Bowling Green will be getting a new community Christmas tree, and it’ll be delivered well before the winter holidays. At Monday’s Library Board of Trustees meeting, Library Director Michael Penrod said he had asked city arborist Grant Jones to take a look at it. The arborist found clear signs disease. The 50-foot Colorado blue spruce’s days are numbered. Once the disease sets in, Penrod said, it cannot be reversed, though it’s hard to tell how long the tree would last. Conceding the tree’s uncertain future, the library board voted to have the tree removed and replaced as quickly as possible. Jones, Penrod said, felt a new tree, likely about 12-foot-tall, could be in place within weeks. It would cost the library about $3,000-$4,000. Penrod said he’d already been approached by Mary Hinkelman, the director for Downtown Bowling Green, to discuss the future of the tree. Downtown BG owns the ornaments that decorate the tree, and the years of stringing increasing lengths of lights to cover the tree has taken their toll. A couple ceremonial tree lightings, have suffered temporary blackouts. Faced with replacing the lights, she wondered how many Downtown BG would have to purchase. She said this afternoon, after being informed of the library board’s decision, that she’s hoping to be able to use the LED bulbs which are in good shape and expensive to replace with whatever replacement wiring is needed. She won’t know how much that would be until later in the year when the decorations are pulled out of storage and inspected. Penrod said Jones advised planting the tree…


Not In Our Town hears of community policing updates

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   In response to national issues of improper community policing, Ohio developed standards for its police departments. The first two standards were to be met by March 31, 2017. Both Bowing Green and Bowling Green State University police divisions met those standards of training on use of force, and on complying with proper recruiting, hiring and screening processes. “Standards are a good thing,” Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick said during a recent Not In Our Town meeting when the policing standards were discussed. “There are a lot of small agencies that don’t even have policies,” and some large agencies that don’t follow the policies they have, the chief said. Of the police departments in Ohio, nearly 80 percent are in the process of meeting the state standards. There are a total of 14 policies set by the state – with three to be met each year from here on. The three to be achieved this year involve community engagement, dispatch training and body cameras. Both the city and campus police engage the community during “Coffee with Cops” events. Hetrick said police department are not mandated to have body cameras. Bowling Green’s division recently updated its in-car cameras, but doesn’t have the funding for body cameras, he added. “It’s something I’m open to. I think they are a good thing,” the chief said. But in addition to the camera expenses, there are also costs for data storage and privacy policies that some police departments are struggling to define. Hetrick said the in-car cameras have proved valuable in refuting false claims from suspects and…


Sugar Ridge still under EPA orders to get sewers

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   For a decade now, the community of Sugar Ridge has been on the Ohio EPA’s clean up list. In 2007, the Wood County Health District got a report of a sewage nuisance in the unincorporated village located north of Bowling Green. The EPA took over sampling and “deemed it a sewage nuisance,” said Lana Glore, director of environmental services at the Wood County Health District. The area was ordered to connect to a public sewer system. But that proved to be easier said than done. The Northwestern Water and Sewer District conducted a feasibility study to find out how to make it affordable to hook up the homes to public sewer. “They found it was very costly to build the sewer” – too expensive for the average homeowners in Sugar Ridge, Glore said last week. The project recently came onto the health district’s radar again when a concerned citizen reported that a resident of the Sugar Ridge area was trying to install a new sewer without approval, on Long Street. Upon inspection, Glore found that the resident was actually trying to fix a drainage system. She also found serious ground water drainage issues that could be affecting the septic systems. Residents in the area were advised to pump their septic tanks more often and lessen their water usage if possible. Worsening the situations is a plugged ditch along Sugar Ridge Road. Middleton Township officials are looking at how that ditch may be cleaned to allow for proper drainage, Glore said. The bad news is the septic systems are not sufficiently handling the…


Perrysburg Musical Theatre to stage “The King and I”

From PERRYSBURG MUSICAL THEATRE Perrysburg Musical Theatre, in its last show of its seventh season, will present Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I” to the Perrysburg community this June 22 – 25.   “The King and I” is a timeless and ever-important reminder about overcoming cultural differences with understanding, respect, and love, while maintaining unique and personal traditions and values.  The story takes place in the early 1860’s in Bangkok, Siam (now Thailand), where the newly-widowed Anna Leonowens and her son, Louis, arrive from England, where Anna has taken a position as the schoolteacher for the children of the King of Siam. The King is determined to usher Siam into the modern world, and he thinks Western education can be a part of that – yet, Anna is horrified by many of the traditions that he holds dear.  They discover that they have a lot to learn from each other.  Music from the score includes “I Whistle a Happy Tune,” “Getting to Know You,””Hello Young Lovers,” and “Shall We Dance?” The cast is comprised of community members throughout northwest Ohio, featuring Jennifer Braun (Anna) and Matt Boggs (King of Siam), and supported by a cast of more than 70 members.  The show is a family affair for many of the cast members:  mothers-and-daughters sharing the stage are Angela Paprocki and Paige Paprocki (Royal Wives), Carrie Sanderson (Lady Thiang) and Lindsay Sanderson (Royal Child/dancer), Tania Schneider (Royal Wife) and Caity Schneider (Royal Child/Buddha), and Amanda Hubaker (Royal Wife) and Alex Hubaker (Royal Child); husband-and-wife cast members include Chuck Kiskaddon (Captain Orton) and Wendie Kiskaddon (Nurse); and a number of siblings will…