General Information

What is the population of Bowling Green?

Per the 2010 census, Bowling Green’s population is 30,028.

Where is City Hall located?

City Hall is at 304 North Church Street in Bowling Green. This facility is located by the Wood County Public Library and the Wood County Senior Citizens Center. Many City administrative offices are located here. This is also the place where one pays municipal utility bills. The City has many other facilities, though.

I want to learn more about City Government, where is the best place to get general information about the City and its functions?

The City has a series of videos call “City 101” that talks about the functions of the local government and the departments.

Does the City have a policy about Open Records?

Yes, the City has an Open Records Policy.  Click here to view the Open Records Poster and here to view the Open Records Ordinance adopted by Bowling Green City Council on December 3, 2007.

When does City Council meet?

City Council generally meets on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month at 7:00 pm in the Council Chamber, 304 North Church Street.  When there is a Monday holiday (Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day), the meeting is usually scheduled for the next Tuesday.  Please check the Council Schedule to verify dates. Frequently, Council will hold public hearings prior to the 7:00 pm regular Council meeting. At various times of the year, Special or Committee meetings are scheduled.  Notice of these meetings is posted in the local paper.

I'm having a garage sale, do I need a permit?

You do not need a permit to have a garage sale.  However, if you are putting signs in the right-of-way you do need a permit.  The right-of-way is generally defined as the area between the sidewalk and the street.  There is no charge for the permit.  Click here for more information.

I have a question and can't find the information on your web site. Who can I contact?

General questions can be referred to the Municipal Administrator’s Office by phone at 419-354-6204 or by e-mail.  Department-specific phone numbers can be found at the bottom of the left column of each department’s page.

When is my refuse pickup?

The city ward and refuse/recycling map may be found here.

Fire Division

What types of services do you provide?

  • Fire Suppression
  • Advanced Life Support Emergency Medical Services
  • Rope Rescue
  • Confined Space Rescue
  • Vehicle Extrication
  • Fire Inspections
  • Fire Investigation
  • Provide Mutual Aid to Neighboring Departments
  • Fire Prevention (Including Code Enforcement and Education)
  • Public Walk-In Blood Pressure Checks
  • Aid in the Issuing of Permits for Open Burning, Ceremonial Fires, Candles, Fireworks, etc.
  • Home Fire Safety Inspections (Upon Request)
  • Pre-fire incident planning of all businesses, schools, apartment complexes, and health care facilities.

How can I prevent fires and make my home safer?

Listed below are tips to help keep your home safe.

  • Have a working smoke alarm on every floor. Place near bedrooms and away from steam from bathrooms. (Hopefully in every bedroom)
  • Test your smoke alarm every month by pushing the test button.
  • Change the battery in your smoke alarm at the same time you adjust your clocks for daylight savings time.
  • Replace your smoke alarm every 10 years.
  • Have a working Carbon Monoxide alarm.
  • Don’t overload electrical outlets by using extension cords or multi-adapters.
  • Don’t leave flames unattended. (Candles, stoves, ovens, microwaves, grills, camp fires)
  • Don’t cook when you are tired or impaired.
  • Keep combustibles at least 3 feet away from heat sources. (hot water tanks, furnaces, space heaters, fire places)
  • Practice fire drills at home. (Know 2 ways out of every room, stay low under smoke, have a safe meeting place, and never go back in a burning building)
  • Teach children to call 911 in an emergency and to know their address.
  • Teach children about cooking safety.
  • Set your hot water tank at 120 degrees to help prevent burns in children and elderly.
  • Never let children swim unattended.
  • Remove trip hazards from floors for the elderly.
  • Don’t block exits with clutter or trip hazards.
  • Keep cleaning fluids, matches, lighters, and pills, away from children.
  • Store gasoline, outside of the home, in approved containers.
  • Never use gasoline inside a home.
  • Take a first aid and CPR class.
  • Visit www.homesafetycouncil.org for more home safety tips.

Am I allowed to have a campfire in my backyard?

The Ohio Fire Code provides numerous conditions which must be met before any open burning is permitted.  Please contact the Bowling Green Fire Division, at 419-352-3106, for regulations concerning open burning.

How many responses do you make in a year?

Why do we conduct a pre-fire survey of local businesses?

The Fire Divisions maintains a database of information for businesses, schools, apartment complexes, and health care facilities to assist the firefighters when responding to emergencies.  The information includes building information, contents and floor plans as well as emergency contact information.

Grants Administration

Does Bowling Green have a public transportation system?

Yes, Bowling Green has a demand-response, curb-to-curb public transit system (the B.G. Transit).  For more information about the system and reduced fare for children 4-13, persons aged 65 and older and persons with disabilities, visit our web page (which includes a system brochure): Public Transportation or call 419-354-6203.

Who do I contact to learn more about Section 8 vouchers?

The Bowling Green Housing Agency at 419-592-1735.

Parks & Recreation

What programs does the parks recreation department offer?

Please follow this link for a complete list of programs and registration information.

How do I rent a shelter in the parks?

Follow this link for information on park shelters.

How do I contact Wintergarden or reach a Naturalist?

Please call 419-353-0301 for the Rotary Nature Center and the City’s Natural Resource staff.

Where do I go to register for Parks and Recreation programs and shelter rentals?

The Registration Desk is located in the Bowling Green Community Center, 1245 W. Newton Road…at the corner of Newton and Haskins, one mile north of the Wood County Fair Grounds. Call the  main switchboard for more detailed directions: 419-354-6223 or email: bgparks@bgohio.org . You can also register on-line here.

Can you provide information on the Slippery Elm Trail or Otsego Park?

These facilities are part of the Wood County Park District, not Bowling Green City Parks. Please visit the Wood County Park District web site.

Planning Department

What do I need a zoning permit for and how long does it take?

There are several types of projects zoning permits are required for, so it is always best to call the Planning Department at (419) 354-6218 to inquire about your specific project.  Examples of the types of items that need zoning permits:  New Houses, Accessory Buildings, Fences, Additions, Decks, Swimming Pools, Patios, Driveways, Porches, Roof Pitch Changes, Signs, Change-In-Use, etc.  Permit fees ranges between $5.00 to $50.00 and a complete fee sheet is listed on the Planning Department web page.  Permit applications are available in the office, on the website, via email or fax.  A scaled sketch is required showing the proposed construction and measurements from all property lines.  In some cases, the Planning Department might have a prior sketch that could be copied and the proposed new construction shown on the copy.  Permit applications can be mailed or dropped off at the Planning office with the required fee and sketch.  Permits applications take about 7 days to process.  Also, your construction project may require a building permit, in addition to a zoning permit, from Wood County Building Inspection. The City recommends calling Wood County Building Inspection directly to inquire about a building permit at (419) 354-9190.

I am replacing an existing structure. Do I need a permit?

Yes;  Replacement of a structure does require a permit.  City Ordinances can change over time and a new structure is required to comply with the current City Ordinances.

How close can my patio/driveway/sidewalk be to my property line?

Flat work, at existing grade, as described in this question can be located as close as (3′) three feet to the property line for single- or two-family dwellings and (5’) five feet for all other types of structures.  The permit fee is $5.00.  However, if any of the work is proposed to be in the City Right-of-Way, a permit is also required through the Public Works Department.

Where can I park my recreational vehicle?

Recreational vehicles (RV’s), include, but are not limited to boats, campers, and RV’s.  These cannot be parked within a front yard in a residential district in excess of (10) ten days per calendar year.  RV’s can only be driven, parked or stored on a hard, dustless surface (this includes any type of vehicle).  These types of violations are subject to citations.  Please see Section 98.17 regarding approved off-street parking surfaces and Section 70.41.

I received a letter/warning citing the fact that I have tall grass or noxious weeds. I do not understand what this means.

Please see Section 99.20 of the Codified Ordinances.  The Codified Ordinances constitutes grass eight inches or more in height and noxious weeds, as defined by the Ohio Director of Agriculture, a health hazard and/or nuisance to the occupants of neighboring properties.  There is also an informational handout you can view by clicking the above link.

Police Division

If the person I complained about asks for a copy of the police report can he/she get my name?

Yes, all complainant information is public record and that information will be released if requested.  Exceptions to the release of this information may apply to victims of crime or cases where the safety of the complainant is of concern.

Where do I get an FBI or statewide background check on myself?

A statewide or FBI background check can be obtained by first calling the Ohio BCI office in London at 745-845-2000.  They will provide instructions on how to get the background check.   If you need to be fingerprinted for a background check you can contact the Wood County Sheriff’s Department at 419-354-9001.

What are the laws regarding parking within the city?

Please visit this page for complete information regarding parking.

How can I get a copy of a police report?

Please visit this page for complete information regarding police reports.

Public Works

Where can I find more information about the City's Curbside Recycling Program?

Click here to view information about the Recycling Program.

Where on your website can I find the Public Works Schedule for Special Curbside Collections, etc.?

What items are allowed for heavy item pickup?

Where can I dispose of my brush?

The City collects brush curbside for eligible locations during an announced collection in the month of October.   The Wood County Landfill also accepts brush for a fee.  The Wood County Landfill’s phone number is (419) 352-0180. Brush is anything with a bark covering.   Also please see the link here.

Why wasn't my trash or recycling picked up?

See Refuse & Recycling page.
It can be one of several reasons such as:
•    The container was put out too late. The containers should be curbside by 7am the day of collection. Also see schedule and holiday tab on Public Works web page.
•    There was illegal material observed inside your container such glass in the recycling or yard waste/brush in the containers.
•    Containers may have been too close together (should be at least 5’ apart) or there was an obstruction preventing access to the container.

What should I do if my refuse or recycling container lid is broken?

Please report this to the Public Works office at (419)-354-6227 or at our email address: bgpw@bgohio.org. This will have the container lid replaced or repaired at no cost.

Tax Division

Does Bowling Green have an income tax?

Yes, the City of Bowling Green has an income tax of 1.92% until 12/31/2010.  Effective 01/01/2011 the rate will increase to 2.00%.

Who is subject to the City's income tax?

Anyone who lives in the City or has taxable income inside the City.

What income is taxable or nontaxable to the City?

Taxable income includes salaries, wages, commissions and other compensation including but not limited to:  bonuses, incentive payments, fees, tips, severance pay, supplemental unemployment benefits (sub pay), sick pay, excess insurance premiums, vacation pay, salary/wage continuation plans, state lottery proceeds, profits from businesses, professions and partnerships, rental income, farm income.

Nontaxable income includes interest, dividends, military pay and allowances, contribution to a Sec 125 (cafeteria plans), proceeds of insurance, pensions, annuities, alimony, social security, Medicare, worker’s compensation, unemployment compensation, capital gains, Board of Elections pollworker pay less than $1,000.

Who must file a tax return?

Unless the tax was fully withheld by a Bowling Green employer, residents must file on all taxable income, wherever earned; part year residents must file on all taxable income earned during the period of their BG residency and should pro-rate income, expenses and credits accordingly; nonresidents must file on all taxable Bowling Green income.

What if I've had tax withheld for the city in which I work?

Bowling Green does allow its residents a credit for tax properly paid or withheld to the work city.  The credit is limited to 50% of the lesser rate between BG and the work city.

I have taxes withheld for the Bowling Green City School Distrcit (8701). May I deduct this tax from the City taxes that I owe?

School District tax may not be deducted on the city income tax return.  Any school district withholding should be reported on your school district (SD 100) tax form.

Utilities Department

I need to activate my electric and/or water service, where do I go?

The Utility Business Office is located at 304 North Church Street in the basement of the building. You may call the office at (419) 354-6258.

Water Treatment

What is the hardness in the City's water in grains per gallon?

The City reports total hardness in milligrams per liter to the Ohio EPA.  The average hardness in the Bowling Green Water is 150 mg/l or 8.8 grains per gallon.

Do you have a bulk water station at the Bowling Green Water Treatment Plant?

No, the nearest bulk water station is at the Wood County Landfill owned by the Northwestern Water and Sewer District.

Is the Water Treatment Plan Reservoir open to the public for fishing?

No, the reservoir is secured by fencing and cameras to assure protection of the raw water supply.

I need to pay my Northwestern Water and Sewer District water bill. Do you have their phone number?

The Northwestern Water and Sewer Districts number is 419-354-9090.

What is the concentration of chlorine in the City's drinking water?

The chlorine concentration of water leaving the Bowling Green Water Treatment Plant is 1.0 mg/l – 1.5 mg/l.  This level is maintained to assure required Ohio EPA  chlorine residuals  throughout the city’s water distribution system.