All posts by Joe Fawcett

Special Meeting of City Council – July 14

City Council will hold a special meeting on July 14 at 6:00 pm in Council Chamber, 304 N. Church St.  The purpose of the meeting is to discuss a face mask mandate within the City of Bowling Green.

Per City Council, anyone wishing to attend the meeting must wear a facial covering/mask.  In order to adhere to social distancing, seating will be limited and those attending may be asked to wait in the hallway 6 feet from the person in front of them.  Those wishing to address Council may do so by signing up for lobby visitation just outside of the Council Chamber or by sending written comment to the Clerk of Council at .  If written comment is sent, please include in the subject line – Lobby Visitation comment.  All written comments received by 3:00 pm on July 14 will be read into the record.

An agenda will be posted to the City’s website www.bgohio.org on Monday, July 13.

The meeting will also be streamed via YouTube Live at www.bgohio.org/meetings.

Income Tax Considerations – Deadline July 15, 2020

The Bowling Green Income Tax Division is strongly encouraging taxpayers who are planning to file income tax returns in person to do so before the July 15, 2020 deadline.

Historically, the Income Tax Division assists numerous taxpayers on the due date.  The Governor’s urgent health advisory and social distancing practices may prevent the division from serving many visitors safely and effectively with the same prompt service to which our taxpayers are accustomed.  Taxpayers need to expect a line, slower one customer at a time service, and limited access to the Division’s counter.  Each visitor is encouraged to wear a mask during their visit and to maintain six feet of social distancing from fellow taxpayers.

Your Bowling Green income tax returns can be prepared and officially submitted to the Income Tax Division before the July 15, 2020 due date without payment (if payment is due) so long as the payment is made by the July 15, 2020 due date.

The payment for any tax due can be submitted separately.  There is no requirement that states that the payment for the tax due must accompany the Bowling Green tax return.  The tax due simply needs to be paid by the July 15, 2020 due date – the date is determined by the date postmarked on the envelope.

The Income Tax Division is encouraging taxpayers to prepare their own Bowling Green tax returns during this extended filing season.  Fillable and printable forms and instructions are available on the Tax Division’s webpage (www.bgohio.org and click the income tax page link at the top).  Taxpayers are encouraged to save the form to their computer and then open the form with adobe acrobat.  The form does NOT calculate total income or tax due.   The forms may also be printed, and the information entered by hand.  Those needing assistance may also call 419-354-6212 instead of coming in.

Taxpayers can avoid postage by using the drop box located outside the City Administration Building at 304 North Church Street.  The drop box is located on the east side of the building and has a dedicated slot for the Income Tax Division.

The Bowling Green Income Tax Division requires a copy of your Federal tax return (Form 1040) and all W-2s.  If you are claiming Bowling Green withholding or a credit for taxes paid to another municipality, your W-2 needs to report this withholding.

Wallace Avenue Sewer Work – July 1

The Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection Division will be repairing a collapsed sewer lateral on Wallace Avenue beginning 7:30 am on July 1.  This will result in Wallace Avenue being closed to traffic from North Grove to North Maple.  The public sidewalk within the work zone will also be closed.  It is anticipated that this work will be complete by the end of the day on July 1 but may be extended in to July 2 depending on progress of work.

Thurstin Avenue/Flanders Avenue Paving

The Thurstin Avenue and Flanders Avenue paving project will begin in July.  The project area is as follows: Thurstin Avenue, from Ridge to Poe, and Flanders Avenue, from Bourgogne to Normandie.  The same contractor will do both projects.  Concrete work on Thurstin Avenue is tentatively scheduled to begin during the first full week of July.  This will include ADA ramps and sporadic driveway ramps and is anticipated to last at least two weeks.  Following the concrete work on Thurstin, milling will occur – first on Thurstin and then on Flanders.  Once the roadway on Flanders has been milled, the contractor will pave Thurstin and then Flanders.

On-street parking will be impacted and intermittent traffic delays will occur.  The above schedule is dependent upon weather and progress of work.  Stay up-to-date with this project by visiting www.bgohio.org/capitalprojects.

Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) Public Notice

An application to establish a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA), defined in Ohio Revised Code Section 4301.82, was submitted to the Bowling Green City Council on June 1, 2020.  The application is on file in the office of the Clerk of Council and can be reviewed online at the City’s website at www.bgohio.org, or by appointment at the City Administrative Services Building, 304 N. Church Street, Bowling Green, Ohio, 43402.  A public hearing was held by City Council on June 15, 2020 to discuss the creation of a DORA in the downtown area of the City of Bowling Green.

This public notice provides notification that City Council plans to take action on the proposed DORA at the Monday, July 6, 2020 Council meeting.  The meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber in the City Administrative Services Building located at 304 N. Church Street, Bowling Green, Ohio.  The meeting can also be viewed online at www.bgohio.org/meetings.

DORA Application

Flag Day and Elder Abuse Awareness Day

In a typical year, we would be gathering at the Wood County Senior Center for a joint Flag Day and Elder Abuse Awareness Day event – coming together with County, City, and community leaders and residents to bring awareness to the issues being faced by the elderly population within our community and to take a moment and recite the pledge of allegiance in observance of Flag Day. 2020 is anything but a typical year, however.

Mayor Aspacher stated, “In spite of the current conditions we find ourselves in, I ask that we remember what Flag Day is intended to represent. Flag Day is intended to celebrate our nation’s symbol of unity and stands for our country’s devotion to freedom, to the rule of law, and to the equal rights for all. Now, more than ever, these ideals must be affirmed and demonstrated through compassion and an open-minded dialogue about the issues we currently face.”

Proclamation identifying June 15 as Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Proclamation identifying June 14 as Flag Day.

Traffic Signal Upgrades

The traffic signals within the downtown are scheduled to be upgraded over the next 3-5 weeks.  During that time, a camera detection system will be added to the Main and Wooster intersection for improved traffic movement.  Traffic control cabinets that power and run the traffic signals will also be upgraded so that during a power outage, many traffic signals will remain in operation on battery power.

During the project, intermittent disruption to traffic will occur.  At certain times, Police Officers will be present in order to direct traffic.  The timeline above is dependent upon weather and progress of work.

Mayor Aspacher and Chief of Police Hetrick Joint Statement

We are deeply troubled by the events in Minneapolis and the death of George Floyd.  The behaviors displayed by the ex-police officers involved in his death are inexcusable.  The Bowling Green Police Division and the Bowling Green City Administration strongly condemn the action and inaction of the ex-officers that were present. Bowling Green Police Officers hold the protection of life as their primary responsibility. In Minneapolis, the ex-officers failed in that responsibility and their leadership failed in its responsibility to properly discipline, train and supervise the officers. Humanity, a heart for service, protecting individual rights and justice were so blatantly absent in the death of George Floyd that any meaningful statement seems inadequate.  As leaders in the Bowling Green community, it is incumbent upon us to remember George Floyd and to make certain that we are doing everything in our power to protect the rights of all persons in our community.

Outlining the training, policy and procedures that the Bowling Green Police Division follows and maintains to ensure that something like this never happens in Bowling Green could certainly be done; however, doing so is likely not enough to comfort or assuage citizens’ concerns over the state of policing in our nation.  The Bowling Green Police Division and the City Administration have had an ongoing dialogue as a staff regarding policing polices and commit ourselves to actively engage in community conversations with a willingness and an interest in identifying ways that we can make Bowling Green better.

The Bowling Green Police Division is an internationally accredited law enforcement agency.  The BGPD has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) since 1993.  The Police Division will undergo an onsite assessment by the commission this July and there will be an opportunity for community input during a scheduled public hearing and call in session.  As an accredited agency, the BGPD is required to establish policy and procedures addressing issues such as implicit bias, ethics, victim advocacy, and verbal de-escalation among others as well as adhere to rigorous training standards to ensure officers meet those standards on an on-going basis.  The Police Division is also required to continually review policies and procedures to ensure they continue to meet the high standards of our community.  As part of this, citizens may voice concerns and offer recommendations through an ongoing survey process established online at http://www.bowlinggreenpolice.org/?page_id=108.

The City of Bowling Green – including our Police Division – fully support peaceful protest and the constitutional rights of citizens to openly express their concerns.  This stance was demonstrated and reinforced by our actions in supporting and helping the organizers of the protest that occurred on May 31.  The two of us along with the Municipal Administrator, Lori Tretter, spent the weekend leading up to the protest talking with the organizer to ensure the City could support their efforts and that the demonstration was peaceful and safe.  A large measure of credit should be given to the organizers of the event, who demonstrated an interest in, and a commitment to, bringing people together in a safe way.

Now is the time for us as a nation, as a community, and for all of us as individuals to follow our conscience and live up to our values and to defend our constitution that guarantees equal rights for ALL people.  We must speak with one voice, that hate and prejudice of any kind have no place here.  This sentiment and our character as a community was demonstrated during the protest on May 31.

City of Bowling Green Housing Repair and Homeownership Assistance Available

The City of Bowling Green currently administers seven (7) housing programs. The Direct Homeownership Assistance, Rental Rehabilitation, Mobile Home Repair, and Elderly Home Repair programs are funded through Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Entitlement dollars. The Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation, the Down Payment Assistance, and the Down Payment Assistance with Rehabilitation programs are funded through the City’s Housing Revolving Loan Fund (RLF).

Typical housing repair grants include roof replacements, siding, windows, furnaces, water heaters, air conditioners, accessibility upgrades, weatherization, and electrical/plumbing repairs.

These programs assist low and moderate-income households within the city limits of Bowling Green. The current annual gross income limit for a household of one is $38,600 and a household of three is $49,600 (Income limits are subject to change). Terms and conditions depend on the program of choice, with many programs provided in the form of a grant. For more information please contact the Housing Specialist at 419-354-6221 or .