By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Bowling Green City Council helped pave the way Monday evening for a local manufacturer to add approximately 20 jobs. Council agreed to vacate about 90 feet of right-of-way adjacent to Betco Corporation on Newton Road. The vacating of the right-of-way will allow the company to proceed with construction of an additional facility at its location. Betco is planning a 20,000 square foot warehouse for the relocation of operations from another state – which will create an estimated 20 new jobs. Also at Monday’s meeting, Mayor Dick Edwards declared Nov. 25 as “Small Business Saturday” in Bowling Green. “Small businesses employ over 48 percent of the working population of the U.S.,” he said. Mary Hinkelman, managing director of Downtown Bowling Green, asked those present to remember the “Holly Days” and “Downtown Dollars” promotions while they do their holiday shopping. “We are working hard to promote our downtown,” Hinkelman said. “It’s so important for our downtown merchants.” According to Hinkelman, when people spend their shopping dollars locally, 68 cents of every $1 stays in the local economy. She also noted that local businesses are frequently giving back to the community. “They make a huge investment in our downtown and it vibrates out to our whole community,” she said. The mayor also recognized Wendy Chambers, executive director of the Bowling Green Convention and Visitors Bureau, for her efforts in the city being named one of Ohio’s Best Hometowns of the Year. This is the second time in 10 years for Ohio Magazine to name Bowling Green to the position. The November issue of the magazine features coverage on Bowling Green, “showcasing all our wonderful city has to offer,” Chambers said. The magazine mentions the historic downtown, vibrant campus, beautiful parks and community spirit. The November edition of Ohio Magazine is available at Ben Franklin and at the Four Corners office in downtown. The city will be recognized in another edition in January, plus the “Summer Fun” edition. A representative of Ohio Magazine will be at the city’s Holiday Parade to present an award to the community. “Way to go Bowling Green,” Chambers said. In other business at Monday’s meeting: Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter reported that city offices will be closed on Friday for Veterans Day. Tretter also mentioned the annual tree lighting will be held Nov. 17 at 6:45 p.m., in front of Wood County District Public Library. Planning Director Heather Sayler reported that Camiros, the firm working on the city’s Community Action Plan, was pleased with citizen feedback on the draft plan. A formal presentation of the plan is expected in January. Public Works Director Brian Craft said efforts are being made to complete roadwork on North Grove, West Evers and South Church before winter weather. Craft also reported the leaf collection started on Monday and will continue for weeks. He asked that residents keep the leaves away from curbs and gutters.
Best Hometown in Ohio award
By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News As editor of Ohio Magazine, Jim Vickers is accustomed to visiting communities throughout the state. But during a recent stop in Bowling Green, Vickers was struck by three features of the city – the energy from the university even though most students were gone for the summer, the healthy downtown, and the beautiful Simpson Garden Park. Bowling Green left such an impression, that the city was named one of Ohio’s Best Hometowns by Ohio Magazine. The 12th annual Ohio’s Best Hometowns issue of the magazine recognizes four communities in addition to Bowling Green: Marietta, Milford, Mount Vernon and Wooster. Bowling Green beat out other communities because of its vibrant college town atmosphere, strong sense of community and shared vision for the future. “I was in Bowling Green for the site visit,” Vickers said, so he had first-hand knowledge of why the city ranked so high. “Every year we look for towns that exemplify a strong community.” They checked out the campus. “It’s a vibrant college town, even in the summertime,” he said. “There’s an energy there.” They went downtown. “The health of the downtown really struck us. There’s a lot of work that goes into a downtown that works.” And they visited Simpson Garden Park. “That was a true community effort,” Vickers said. “That wouldn’t have happened without the community bonding together.” City officials were pleased that Bowling Green was awarded the honor. “It helps to continue and foster the community that we all know Bowling Green is. There’s a strong sense of community here,” said Assistant Municipal Administrator Joe Fawcett. “It’s nice to have some affirmation of all of the good work everyone does around here.” Fawcett mentioned teamwork of the university, city school district and city government. “It takes everyone to make Bowling Green the community it is.” This is the second time Bowling Green has been named one of the state’s best hometowns by Ohio Magazine. The last time was 10 years ago, said Wendy Chambers, executive director of the Bowling Green Convention and Visitors Bureau. “I was so proud of showing all the things that happened in the last 10 years,” Chambers said. The magazine representatives met with Mayor Dick Edwards, toured the Ben Franklin store downtown, talked with BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey, and learned about the creation of the Four Corners offices. They also toured the Dream Cars museum, the Wood County Historical Center and Simpson Garden Park. They learned of the Not In Our Town movement, the community action plan, and teamwork by the hospital and university. “They got to see the best of everything,” Chambers said. While the nod by the magazine is a boost to the city’s spirits, it’s also great advertisement for people looking for a place to put roots. “I think this brings us to the forefront of being a great place to live, work and visit,” Chambers said. Bowling Green and the other winning communities will now be featured in three editions of Ohio Magazine during the next year – during November, January and July. The magazine will focus on “unique places to visit and ways to enjoy each location.” “It’s a year-long honor,” Vickers said.