By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Bowling Green City Council fast-tracked some changes Monday evening for East Wooster Street.
Council suspended the three-readings rule and passed legislation to seek funds for two additional roundabouts, and proceed with installation of four marked crosswalks between Manville Avenue and Campbell Hill Road.
The city is already working with the Ohio Department of Transportation on roundabouts at the Interstate 75 interchanges on East Wooster Street. The resolutions before council on Monday involved the roundabouts at the intersections of East Wooster at Campbell Hill and Dunbridge roads.
The four crosswalks are planned at areas where pedestrians are more likely to use when dodging traffic on East Wooster Street.
According to Public Works Director Brian Craft, two different types of crosswalks are proposed. Pedestrian hybrid beacons are planned by the Stroh Center and by the BGSU McFall building. These crosswalks will have buttons for pedestrians to push, which will turn flashing yellow lights to solid red lights for vehicle traffic.
Passive crossings are planned in the areas of Troup Street and at the driveway to the Falcon Health Center. These crossings will have islands in the middle of the street for pedestrians, Craft said.
In addition to creating less air pollution, city officials are interested in the roundabouts because the East Wooster Street Concept Plan identified these locations for intersection improvements, including a “new look” for the corridor. The plan calls for a calmer and more aesthetically pleasing entrance to the city with a landscaped median as part of that concept.
Since the East Wooster corridor is the “front door” to the community, the plan suggested increasing trees, calming traffic and adding improvements for pedestrians.
If approved, ODOT would pay 80 percent of the roundabout costs, with Bowling Green paying the remaining 20 percent. That means for the Campbell Hill rotary, estimated to cost $1,525,000, Bowling Green would pay $310,000 plus $153,000 for project preparation. For the Dunbridge Road rotary, estimated to cost $935,000, Bowling Green’s share would be $190,000, plus $95,000 for project preparation.
Also at Monday’s meeting, Mayor Dick Edwards talked about the positive reactions since the city’s announcement last week that it would donate land on South Grove Street to the Wood County Committee on Aging for a new senior center.
The property on South Grove was formerly the site of the Central Administration Building for Bowling Green City Schools. To provide enough space for the senior center and needed parking, an ordinance was introduced Monday setting up the exchange of city land with First Presbyterian Church. The ordinance calls for a trade so the church would get the “dog leg” of land directly behind the church, and the city would get the park area directly to the south of the property for the senior center.
Edwards said questions have been raised about whether or not the current senior center site might be a logical place for a new municipal building.
“My answer is a pretty straight forward ‘yes,’” the mayor said.
Edwards estimated it would take two or three years for the new senior center to be ready – which will give the city time for its building plans.
“We’re all eager to see the process move along,” he said.
In other business Monday evening:
- Council heard the first reading of an ordinance regulating the use of golf carts and other slow-moving vehicles on city streets. Council member Bruce Jeffers asked for some further explanation at the next council meeting.
- Council approved a contract with the Bowling Green Employees Organization, and declared it an emergency. This is the second of five union contracts the city is facing this year. It calls for raises of 1.5 percent, then 2 percent, then 2.5 percent over the next three years.
- Council gave a second reading to an ordinance allowing the advertising for bids for leasing farmland owned by the city.
- Craft said work on waterlines in the Conneaut-Wintergarden area will now shift to linking homes up to new service lines and abandoning the old lines.
- Kristin Otley, parks and recreation director, said the city pool will open on May 27, and dedication of the splash pad creatures will be held June 7 at 1 p.m. The weekly lunches in City Park will begin on June 2.
Also at the council meeting, the mayor announced appointments to various city boards and commissions. Those are as follows:
- Bicycle Safety: Reagan Otley, Kerica Bucks, Steve Langendorfer, Tyson Richmond.
- BG Housing Agency: Ryan Holley.
- Human Relations: Jennifer Dever, Morgan Hollandsworth, Angelica Megyesi, Mary Jane Saunders, Cassie Woodbury.
- Parks and Recreation: Linda Cubberley.
- Planning: Jeff Betts.
- Records: Brian Bushong.
- Revolving Loan Fund: Greg Bakies, Sue Clark, John Eckel, Wendy Headley, Amanda Kress.
- Transportation Advisory: Shannon Fisher, Jim Stainbrook, Cristy Walton.
- Tree: George Clemans, Kent Reichert, Mark Wenning.
- Zoning Appeals: David Pfleger, Hobart Johnson.