Bowling Green Board of Public Utilities

Area around solar field may be restored to natural habitat

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green officials hope to save on mowing expenses and provide wildlife habitat all in one plan. Instead of mowing the open grassy areas surrounding the solar field on Carter Road, city officials are suggesting that the acreage become a pollinator habitat. The Board of Public Utilities was presented with the proposal Monday evening by Brian O’Connell, director of public utilities for Bowling Green. While mowing the 12 acres around the solar field doesn’t require a lot of time, it is an expense the city could avoid, O’Connell said. Daryl Stockburger, assistant utilities director, began looking for ways to reduce maintenance and enhance the solar site. He talked with representatives of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service about a grant to help convert the grassy areas into a pollinator habitat as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in the Maumee Area of Concern. The habitat restoration would increase native habitat – such as vegetation, migratory birds and bees – and improve water quality in the watershed, O’Connell said. An agreement would likely require a commitment by the city to allow the pollinator habitat to remain for possibly five to 10 years. That would not be a problem, O’Connell said, since the solar contract has a longer term and there are few options for the narrow strips of land outside the solar field. It has been suggested that the Wood County Park District could maintain the habitat restoration area over the life of the grant. The project could provide educational opportunities for the park district, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green City…


Penta Career Center plans satellite school in BG

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Penta Career Center may soon have a satellite school in Bowling Green. The Bowling Green Board of Public Utilities voted Monday evening to transfer acreage in the Bellard Business Park on the northwest side of the city to the Bowling Green Community Development Foundation. Two acres of the business park, near the intersection of Newton and Brim roads, will then be sold to Penta Career Center. Penta plans to construct a building to hold morning and afternoon classes for students who will be able to travel to local employers to continue their training and education. The school is also considering using the facility to offer adult training classes in the future, said Brian O’Connell, director of the city’s public utilities. City council will have a public hearing Monday on an ordinance that will pave the way for the vocational training school use in the city’s zoning code. The Bowling Green Community Development Foundation has been working with Penta Career Center to find a permanent location for a satellite school. The school is seen as a first step for collaboration with business parks for training and workforce development for existing manufacturers. One of the biggest needs expressed by local manufacturers is the lack of a skilled workforce, according to Sue Clark, executive director of the Bowling Green Community Development Foundation. The city owns the acreage in the business park, and the community development foundation markets the properties for sale. Penta’s purchase of two acres leaves 3.1 acres remaining open for development in Bellard Business Park. Also at Monday’s meeting of the Board of…


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….