Second BG council member against charter amendment

Monday's City Council meeting

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN

BG Independent News

 

A second Bowling Green City Council member has come out in opposition to the proposed charter amendment which is aimed to stop pipelines and protect a healthy climate and environment.

Just as Monday’s council meeting was coming to a close, Bruce Jeffers asked to speak his mind on the ballot issue. Last month, council member Bob McOmber spoke out in opposition to the charter amendment.

Jeffers said the city has taken all the steps possible on the pipeline issue. City Council rejected an easement request for the Nexus pipeline. And Mayor Dick Edwards bought in a panel of experts to discuss the risks involved with the pipeline proposed so close to the city’s water treatment plant.

The mayor also reached out to the Ohio EPA and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which responded to specific concerns expressed by city officials.

“We in Bowling Green are not the experts on pipelines,” Jeffers said. That is FERC’s job, he added. “It is beyond our expertise and power.”

Jeffers said the proposed charter amendment would be difficult to work with and is too far-reaching. “I find the amendment cumbersome,” he said. “And there’s almost no chance of it standing up in court.”

Earlier in the meeting, City Attorney Mike Marsh was asked about the status of the proposed charter amendment. The issue is still waiting for a ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court, he said. But because the Wood County Board of Elections could not wait for the decision, the charter amendment is already on the printed ballots for the Nov. 7 election.

Also at Monday’s council meeting, Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter reported on the use of the Community Development Block Grants in the past year. The grants, administered by Tina Bradley, were used for the following projects:

  • 7 mobile home repair projects.
  • 3 elderly home repair projects.
  • 2 direct homeownership assistance projects.
  • 2 home repairs.
  • 1 rental rehabilitation (Wood Lane Residential).
  • 97 BG Transit reduced fare ID cards issued to adults who are disabled or elderly.
  • 113 homeless people received transitional housing (partnership with Salvation Army).
  • 7 jobs created via business revolving loan funds.

In other business at Monday’s meeting:

  • Edwards declared Oct. 15 as Crop Hunger Walk Day. The walk will take place at 1 p.m. in City Park.
  • Brandy Laux, from Wood County Children’s Services talked about the renewal 1.3 mill levy for Wood County Human Services. The funding goes to protect children and the elderly from abuse. The levy has not been increased since 1987, and costs the owner of a $100,000 home approximately $3 a month. Laux noted that since the last time the levy was on the ballot, Wood County has seen six deaths of young children from abuse. Five were from head trauma and one from smothering.
  • Planning Director Heather Sayler was congratulated for the Court Street Connects project winning a planning award. “The community earned this award,” Sayler said.
  • Sayler reminded people that comments on the Community Action Plan should be submitted by Oct. 13.
  • Tretter reported the BGSU Homecoming parade will be Oct. 13, starting at 5:30 p.m., in the Wooster Green area then heading along Wooster Street to Mercer Road.
  • Parks and Recreation Director Kristin Otley announced the second annual birthday bash for Ridge Park will be Oct. 15, from 3 to 6 p.m. There will be music and games. She also noted the Zombie Fun Run will be Oct 22 at 1 p.m.
  • Marsh complimented the public works crews for their efforts at Oak Grove Cemetery. “We have the nicest looking cemetery in Northwest Ohio,” he said.
  • Public Works Director Brian Craft gave updates on roadwork on South Church, North Grove and Evers streets, plus sewer work planned to start next week on Wolfly Avenue.
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