Government

Charters Gavarone to fill Statehouse seat, vacate BG Council seat

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Theresa Charters Gavarone has been selected by a Statehouse screening panel to take the state representative seat vacated by the resignation of Tim Brown. That means the statehouse will gain a member and Bowling Green City Council will lose a member. Speaker of the Ohio House Clifford A. Rosenberger, R-Clarksville, announced this evening that the screening panel for the 3rd House District seat unanimously recommended Charters Gavarone for the appointment. She will fill out the remainder of Brown’s term through the end of this year. Other Wood County Republicans who were screened for the seat were Haraz Ghanbari, of Perrysburg, and Ed Schimmel, of Northwood. “I believe Theresa Charters Gavarone is an incredibly solid choice to represent the citizens of Wood County in the Ohio House of Representatives,” said Brown, who is leaving the Statehouse for the top job at the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments. “As a member of city council, she has already established herself as someone capable of working in a bipartisan manner for the benefit of Wood County’s citizens.  Her experience as a small business owner, an attorney, and an elected official will enable her to represent the people of Wood County extremely well.” The screening panel decision is the first step toward filling the seat. The Ohio House Republican Caucus will vote on the screening panel’s recommendation and swear in the new member on Aug. 2. The Wood County Republican Party’s Central Committee is meeting this Thursday evening in Bowling Green to pick the name to appear on the November ballot in place of Brown’s. Bob Mack, head of the Central Committee, expects that person to be Charters Gavarone. “That would make the most sense,” he said Wednesday evening. In cases like this, the other candidates not selected often “show solidarity” and back out of the race, Mack said. Brown agreed. “I would expect that the committee will replace my name with hers.” And that means Charters Gavarone would have to give up her seat on city council once she is appointed on Aug. 2. According to City Solicitor Mike Marsh, Bowling Green City Council will have 30 days to appoint a replacement. If they fail to do so, the mayor will appoint a new member representing the Fourth Ward. The replacement does not need to be a Republican, Marsh said. “I would guess it wouldn’t be,” he added, considering the current makeup of city council. With Charters Gavarone’s appointment to the Statehouse, council will be left with one Republican member, Bob McOmber. After being selected by the screening panel Wednesday, Charters Gavarone said she is looking forward to the challenge. “I’m very thankful,” she said, adding that she is ready to begin campaigning. “I’m feeling really excited. I really can’t wait.” The appointment of Charters…


Wood County jail may start housing Toledo inmates

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Wood County Justice Center may have the key to Toledo’s inmate issues. That means the county jail in Bowling Green may soon be housing up to 25 people a day arrested in Toledo for misdemeanors. According to Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn, Toledo officials turned south to this county after an ongoing feud over charges to the city from the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio near Stryker. “They were looking at their options,” Wasylyshyn said on Saturday. The sheriff said the Wood County jail could house at least 25 misdemeanor inmates for $65 a day, plus an initial booking fee. That is the same amount charged for overflow inmates from other neighboring counties. “I told them I could easily handle 25,” Wasylyshyn said. “I didn’t want to over-count – so we have room for our inmates.” However, the sheriff said that number from Toledo could possibly grow since the recently completed expansion of minimum security housing at the Wood County Justice Center has created the room for 224 inmates overall at the jail. As of last Friday, the county jail had 142 inmates. Based on the low estimate of 25 inmates from Toledo a day, the county jail could bring in an extra $600,000 a year, Wasylyshyn said. “It’s good for Wood County,” he said. “We have the bed space, so it’s a great thing for Wood County to get some of the money back that was spent on the expansion.” Prior to the expansion, which was estimated at around $3 million and which included more than the inmate housing areas, the jail had 149 beds. The deal with Wood County Justice Center may work for Toledo for a variety of reasons. First, the county jail on East Gypsy Lane Road in Bowling Green, is quite a bit closer to Toledo than Stryker, and costs less per day per inmate. Second, the city is in the midst of a dispute with the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio and Lucas County over jail costs. The city of Toledo reportedly missed a July 1 deadline to pay a $1.3 million quarterly bill for its share of beds at the jail. By intentionally failing to pay the bill for 228 of the facility’s 638 beds, the city may be setting the scene to withdraw from using the regional jail. The jail agreement reportedly states that entities that default on payments longer than 60 days will not be able to house inmates there. Wasylyshyn said Toledo’s failure to pay the bill at Stryker does not worry him. “No not at all,” he said, adding that Toledo will be required to pay monthly, rather than quarterly as at Stryker. “I’m not concerned about that.” This latest move by Toledo officials came after the city won the most…


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 were moved to the permitted list with the planning commission action Wednesday evening. Also at the meeting, Bowling Green Planning Director Heather Sayler reported the city has issued 172 zoning permits so far this year, compared to 189 for the same period last year. The city has approved 19 single-family homes, compared to 16 last year. Permits for two commercial projects and one institutional project have also been issued this year.


BG asked to be patient on green space decision

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green residents were urged to be patient as the city deliberates on the future of the gray area known as the downtown green space. On Tuesday evening, Mayor Dick Edwards said he expects the city to make some decisions within the next two months on the open 1.7 acres at the corner of West Wooster and South Church streets that formerly housed the junior high school. Edwards noted that the 15-member Green Space Task Force completed its work more than nine months ago, after “very intensive study efforts.” That group suggested that the location be preserved as a green space and gathering area for the community. “I don’t want to see the work of that task force slip away or be forgotten,” the mayor said. The task force, led by Eric Myers, addressed the four points they were asked to study: Develop and recommend a conceptual plan for the space. Review the history of the site and prior recommendations for possible use of the space. Consider design elements that require minimal operating costs in keeping with the history of adjoining properties. Recommend a plan that lends itself to private fundraising efforts. In the nine months since then, City Council’s Public Lands and Building Committee looked at the possibility of a new city office building sharing the acreage with a green town square. “Council and the administration have been engaged in a process that reflects the weight of the topic and the value of the land as well as the varying opinions from many members of our community,” Edwards said to council. The mayor said that out of respect for that process, he has tried to listen quietly to public debate. “At the same time, it’s been no secret that I strongly favor the retention of the 1.7-acre green space as green space given its integral spatial relationship to our historic downtown and the adjoining historic church and neighborhood,” Edwards said. “I see great value in what it means to be a vibrant and healthy community to have a small space where people can gather and enjoy, and where adjacency to the downtown is possible,” he added. That doesn’t mean he is unaware of the need for a new city office building. “I am reminded each and every day that the current municipal building has long outlived its usefulness as a place to conduct the business of the public in a city the size and complexity of Bowling Green,” he said. So the city administration has been analyzing another existing building site and other options for city use. Edwards has repeatedly said the former Huntington building downtown should be thoroughly studied as a possible site for city offices. The mayor asked that the community be patient as the city analyzes the options…


Charters Gavarone interested in state rep seat

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green City Council member Theresa Charters Gavarone announced Wednesday evening that she is seeking the state representative seat vacated by the resignation of State Rep. Tim Brown. Charters Gavarone, a Republican, is an attorney, business owner, and is serving her second term as council member representing the city’s Fourth Ward. She earned a business degree from Bowling Green State University and a law degree from the University of Toledo. “I really enjoy the work on council,” she said Wednesday evening. “I think I have something to offer at the state level.” Charters Gavarone said she is interested in mental health issues, drug addiction, education and economic development. As an attorney for 22 years, Charters Gavarone said she has first hand experience with the justice system. “The impact of mental illness and drug addiction on both adults and children is devastating on both a personal and community basis. Although a lot is happening to improve services, there is more work to do to make services available to those in need.” “I think we have a long way to go,” she said Wednesday evening. As co-owner with her husband of the Mr. Spots restaurant in downtown Bowling Green, Charters Gavarone said she understands the role small businesses play in the local economy. “I think it’s important to keep Wood County working,” she said. “It’s important to support small businesses.” Charters Gavarone also pointed to her experience as a parent. “As a mother of three, I understand the challenges faced by families, children, and schools,” she said in making the announcement. “I’ve worked with students in the classroom and library and have supported teachers and coaches as a fundraiser and volunteer. Wood County needs a representative who understands the issues from all sides and someone who is willing to listen and represent their interests in Columbus.” As a city council member, Charters Gavarone said she has employed a bipartisan approach to issues. “In my years as an elected official, I have proven that I can work with people to solve community problems regardless of party affiliation. Wood County needs a representative in Columbus that will work hard and reach across party lines to make decisions that will best serve the needs of our community. I have that track record.” If elected to the state representative seat, Charters Gavarone will have to relinquish her seat on city council. At least one other Wood County Republican, Northwood Mayor Ed Schimmel is also interested in the Statehouse seat. The House leadership is expected to select a replacement soon to fill Brown’s position. It will be the responsibility of the Wood County Republican Party to choose the candidate to appear on the November ballot. The Wood County Democrats have selected Kelly Wicks as their candidate to appear on…


BG Council balks at setting tough trash bin rules

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   After months of discussions on garbage bins cluttering front yards, the bins have yet to budge an inch. Other college towns in Ohio have set clear rules about garbage bins in their communities, but Bowling Green is reluctant to ask residents to move their bins beyond the front of their homes. City officials spent well over two hours discussing the issue again Tuesday evening – first during a committee meeting, then at the city council meeting. Those who want the most sweeping changes have heard from citizens who are tired of overflowing trash cans sitting in front yards and littering their neighborhoods. Those who want minor changes have heard from citizens who say moving the bins back from the front of their homes would pose a hardship. At the end of discussions, city council presented a watered down version of the original proposal – and it’s still not clear if that has enough support to pass a first reading at the next council meeting. City Council had wanted the new rules to be in place by time BGSU students arrived back in town at the end of August. Those council members wanting the strictest rules were Daniel Gordon, Sandy Rowland and John Zanfardino. Those wanting the loosest requirements were Mike Aspacher, Theresa Charters Gavarone and Bruce Jeffers. Bob McOmber appeared to be the swing vote, with his secondary concern being clear wording that citizens can understand and the city can enforce. Some in the audience appreciated the “healthy debate,” which was a little testy at times. But some were frustrated with the proposal that was weaker than they wanted. “I’m very disappointed and depressed that a majority of the council can’t stand up for the older neighborhoods,” said Les Barber, who lives on North Prospect Street. Many of the older neighborhoods have been overtaken by rental properties, where residents take less pride in their homes. That leads to “degradation of those areas,” he said. Barber questioned how the city will proceed with its neighborhood revitalization plan if city council can’t even enact strong trash bin rules. Some on council wondered why other college communities have been able to enact rules requiring residents to keep their trash bins behind the front line of their homes – with little pushback from residents. Kent and Oxford require trash cans stored behind the front of homes. Athens, Youngstown and Sylvania go further and prohibit trash cans from being visible from the street. In some communities, the requirements were initially met with resistance, but the citizens are now complying without complaint, according to reports presented from those cities. “This does not seem to be a big deal for other communities,” Gordon said. Those communities set the expectations, and “people rise to the occasion,” Zanfardino said. Mayor Dick…


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 “less toxic influence” when they are removed at the end of their usefulness. But Wood County Commissioner Craig LaHote said he believes First Solar handles the disposal of its products. LaHote asked the NextEra Energy representatives what would happen if the commissioners don’t approve the tax abatement. Janet Ward replied that the cost of the project would go up for Bowling Green. Haines said a rejection could potentially cause the project to derail. “It’s an exciting project,” LaHote said. But he also said the requested tax break would be huge. “It’s a pretty significant ask.” Commissioners Joel Kuhlman, Herringshaw and LaHote all said they felt no pressure to approve the tax abatement in order to ensure the project proceeds. The commissioners have until the end of July to take action on the request. “This is unlike any other abatement request…


County senior center expenses getting old for BG

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The building used to house senior citizens services in Bowling Green is a senior itself. And like anything elderly, the 102-year-old structure is showing its age and facing some costly repairs to keep it functioning. Earlier this year during a city strategic planning meeting, it was noted that major structural repairs are needed at the Wood County Senior Center, which the city leases to the Wood County Committee on Aging for $1 a year. But while the rent is cheap, the repairs are not. Many city officials were not aware of any contract holding the city responsible for repairs, but learned the city had always just done the work. However, the long-standing lease agreement for the senior center does state the city is responsible for “major maintenance requirements,” including repairs to the roof, boiler, furnace and electric system. The agreement holds the Wood County Committee on Aging responsible for “minor building repairs,” such as general maintenance and upkeep including interior painting. So city officials are looking for someone to share the costs of the senior center, which started out as a post office in 1914 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. And the most natural place to look for help is Wood County, since the senior center serves residents of the entire county not just Bowling Green. “We would like to have a discussion with the county commissioners,” said Bowling Green City Council President Mike Aspacher. “We would like to have that discussion to figure out if we can work together to do what the building needs.” However the Committee on Aging’s six satellite sites in North Baltimore, Pemberville, Perrysburg, Rossford, Walbridge and Wayne are also open to any older residents of the county, and rely on community partners, according to Denise Niese, executive director of the Wood County Committee on Aging. None of those communities are objecting to the expense, she said. “We could not do what we do throughout the county without support of the communities,” Niese said. None of the senior sites are owned by the committee and all are supported by the communities in which they are located. Many are housed in churches or municipal buildings, with the committee on aging paying a small user fee. “It works because of partnerships,” Niese said. “They feel it’s supplying a service for the local constituents.” Aspacher said the city has no intention of breaking its agreement with the senior center – but tweaking it to make it more reasonable for the city. “The city is certainly grateful for the opportunity to support that facility. We certainly aren’t shying away from the agreement,” he said. “It’s our goal to work collaboratively with the county and the commissioners.” Last year, the city spent $7,120 on roofing repairs to the…


Dems pick Wicks for state representative run

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Kelly Wicks went into Thursday evening with the campaign groundwork, unused funds, and leftover campaign signs. He ended the evening with the backing of the Democratic party. The Wood County Democratic Central Committee voted to put Wicks on the November ballot as the Democratic candidate for the state representative seat vacated by Republican Tim Brown. Wicks received 18 votes from the committee, while Daniel Gordon received 6 votes. The meeting room for Democrats Thursday evening was packed with party members wanting to hear the “job interviews” for Wicks and Gordon. Brown’s resignation has given the underdog Democrats hope at gaining the seat that has not been held by a Democrat since 1938. Wicks will now face off against the candidate yet to be chosen by the Wood County Republican Central Committee. Northwood Mayor Edward Schimmel has announced his interest in the Republican nomination. Perrysburg Township Trustee Bob Mack has initially expressed interest then decided to withdraw his name. Wicks, who owns the Grounds for Thought business in downtown Bowling Green, promised his party that he would hit the ground running if selected. “With your support, our campaign will start now,” he said. Wicks criticized current state leadership of being pro-big business, pro-coal, and pro-charter schools, while being anti-worker and anti-women. His focus would be on job creation, public education, infrastructure, transportation, clean energy and worker rights. “We still need to make sure we’re fighting for workers,” he said. Wicks also vowed to work across the aisle. “Everybody’s tired of the bickering and the fighting,” he said. “We have an opportunity to stand together. I’m someone who will work together for all we can achieve.” Gordon, in his third term on Bowling Green City Council, came in to Thursday evening with the endorsements of 54 elected officials and the urging of the Ohio House Democratic Caucus. “They heard from other folks that I’m the real deal. I care,” he said. Gordon said unlike most college graduates who move away, he dug in. “I didn’t leave. I doubled down on Bowling Green.” Like Wicks, he criticized state leaders who have “attacked working people” and “crippled our state.” “We’ve received so many cuts from Columbus,” Gordon said. “I see the effects of these consequences every day.” But unlike Wicks, Gordon touted his winning record of unseating a Republican then securing two more terms on city council. “I’ve demonstrated the ability to win an elected office and keep winning an elected office.” Once on council, Gordon said he pushed for revitalizing East Side neighborhoods, which is now council’s top priority. “So many people in my neck of the woods felt voiceless,” he said. He also worked to create Ridge Park, the only park area in the First Ward. “That was the happiest day of my life…


Wicks selected by Democrats to run for House seat

Kelly Wicks was selected this evening by the Wood County Democratic Central Committee to appear as the Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives seat being vacated by Tim Brown. Wicks, a Bowling Green businessman, received 18 votes from the committee while Bowling Green Councilman Daniel Gordon received 6 votes. Wicks will run against the candidate yet to be chosen by the Wood County Republican Central Committee.  



Rally in BG takes aim at gun violence

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   A week after Democratic members of Congress held a sit-in demanding action against gun violence, a group of local residents held their own sit-in – this one in Congressman Bob Latta’s office in Bowling Green. It was brief – eight minutes – one minute for each of the eight people killed by guns each day in Ohio. “We’ve had enough,” said Toby Hoover, founder of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, as she handed Latta’s staff member a petition demanding action on proposed gun violence bills. “This isn’t about gun rights. This is about victims’ rights.” Hoover knows. Her husband was killed in 1973 by a robber with a gun. Latta, a Republican from Bowling Green, joined others in Congress last week refusing to discuss any legislation involving guns. A good start, Hoover said, would be to just let the issue be studied by the Centers for Disease Control. “Certainly he can’t be against the CDC doing their job,” she said. But that is a sticking point for Congress, with many refusing to even discuss any collection of data on gun violence. “Common sense things can be done,” Hoover said. But only if Congress will discuss the topic. “We just want them to talk about it. Let people discuss it,” she said. Rallies against gun violence are being held in communities across the nation this week in response to the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history in Orlando, and in solidarity with the sit-in for gun violence prevention in the U.S. House that followed. “These are happening all over the country today and tomorrow,” Hoover said, with many of them held at the offices of congressional members. “We’re going to keep watching them. We all want some common sense steps.” In Bowling Green, Hoover was joined by about a dozen others who stood along North Main Street in front of Latta’s office, holding signs saying “Freedom from Gun Violence,” “Disarm Hate,” and “Enough.” One of those joining the rally was Jim Litwin, of Bowling Green. “I’m disgusted with America’s policy on guns,” he said. “President Obama is right on track. If we don’t do something about guns after Sandy Hook and Orlando, we’re never going to do anything.” Litwin said the lack of gun regulations makes no sense. “I don’t know how Americans can accept regulations on food, drugs and driving, but not on guns.” Sheri Wells-Jensen shared similar concerns. “Those kids in Orlando could have been our kids,” she said. And the eight people killed by guns each day in Ohio, “it’s too much,” Wells-Jensen said. “And Bob Latta has to listen.” Wells-Jensen said she was thrilled by the sit-in held in Congress last week – though disappointed with the lack of any results. “I was up all night following it….


Intersection work planned at South Main and Gypsy Lane

The City of Bowling Green has contracted with Geddis Paving and Excavating for the construction of intersection improvements at South Main and Gypsy Lane. The work will include: -The addition of a left turn lane for westbound Gypsy Lane -New signal poles, mast arms and signals -New LED edge lit street name signs -New pedestrian crossings, signals and countdown timers Work is scheduled to begin on July 18 and is expected to last eight weeks, weather permitting. East Gypsy Lane will be closed to thru traffic for 21 calendar days beginning July 18, with the detour route using Klotz Road and Napoleon Road. Intermittent lane closures are possible on South Main Street throughout the project, but through traffic will be maintained at all times. Contact the City of Bowling Green, Engineering Division (419)-354-6227 for additional information or with any questions.


Northwood mayor interested in House seat

Northwood Mayor Edward Schimmel announced today that he will seek the Republican party nomination for the Ohio House 3rd District seat. The vacancy was recently created when Representative Tim Brown accepted the position as executive director with the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments. Schimmel, a two-term Northwood city councilman and first term mayor, has sat on the Republican central committee since 2012. “One of the things I’ve learned in elected office is that there is always more work to be done,” Schimmel said. “I know that if selected I will be leaving the mayor’s office with unfinished business, but I believe that I can help not only Northwood, but all of Wood County in the State House.” An attorney with the law firm of Hizer & Schimmel, he said that he is fully committed to being representative. “If that means leaving the practice of law altogether, I would certainly do that. The plan at this time would be to only work a couple days a week as an attorney, so that I could devote my time to representing Wood County and my obligations to my family.” Schimmel is 39 years old, and is married with three children. He attended Northwood schools, and the University of Toledo where he obtained degrees in political science and law.


Parking kiosks to take coins, cash or credit cards

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   People parking in the city lot behind Panera may want to start brushing up on their license plate numbers now. Come August, motorists parking in that lot will need to punch in their license plate numbers and pay at one of three kiosks taking the place of the old parking meters. The kiosks will be located behind SamB’s restaurant, at the parking entrance on East Wooster Street, and near the parking entrance on Clough Street. “We wanted to make it as convenient as possible for people,” said Joe Fawcett, Bowling Green assistant municipal administrator. Fawcett was explaining the new parking payment program Tuesday to anyone with questions. Bowling Green officials chose between three types of parking payment kiosks – pay by display, space or plate. “It was determined that pay by plate would be the most convenient,” Fawcett said. The pay by display kiosks require motorists to return to their vehicles to place tickets on their dashboards. That is the type used at Bowling Green State University. The pay by space would require the drivers to see the parking space numbers, which may be difficult in the winter. The pay by plate requires the driver to punch in their license plate number. The kiosk will accept coins, cash or credit cards. Those who pay with credit cards can add more time by using their smart phones if they end up needing extra time for the parking spot, Fawcett said. The rates and time limits for the lots won’t change. According to Fawcett, the idea of switching from parking meters to kiosks came up when city officials were discussing repaving the parking lot. “We didn’t want to punch hundreds of holes in the parking lot right after paving,” he said. The benefits of changing over to kiosks include: Replacement parts are more difficult to find and are becoming more expensive for the outdated parking meters. Increased efficiency to clear the parking lot following snow storms. Reduced maintenance for special events such as the Black Swamp Arts Festival. Reduced maintenance costs associated with parking blocks, meter poles and meters. Keep newly repaved parking lot intact. The three kiosks will cost the city $37,000. The city’s parking technicians will still patrol the parking lots, but now they will carry hand-held devices that will tell them which cars have expired time. The parking lot will be repaved around July 11, and the kiosks will be installed sometime in August. Until they are placed, the parking will be free. According to Fawcett, this parking lot is just the first of six lots where city officials would like to change meters to kiosks. “They seem to be working pretty well at BGSU,” Fawcett said. The city lots will be changed over as they need repaving. The next in…