COVID-19

Updated May 27, 2020

May 27, 2020 EMAIL UPDATE
May 20, 2020 EMAIL UPDATE
May 13, 2020 EMAIL UPDATE
May 6, 2020 EMAIL UPDATE
April 29, 2020 EMAIL UPDATE
April 22, 2020 EMAIL UPDATE
April 15, 2020 EMAIL UPDATE
April 8, 2020 EMAIL UPDATE
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Ohioans Protecting Ohioans Urgent Health Advisory

On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, under the direction of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH issued an “Ohioans Protecting Ohioans Urgent Health Advisory” that recommends that Ohioans continue to stay home as much as possible, but maintains mandates limiting large groups and requiring safe business conditions to prevent the spread of COVID19 in the State of Ohio.  For more information on what this means for you and our community, click the links below:

Public Health Orders

Responsible RestartOhio

Resources for Economic Support

Message from Mayor Aspacher

May 20, 2020

Due to health and safety concerns, the City Pool and Waterpark will remain closed this summer.  This was a difficult decision and one that was not made lightly. This decision was made in consultation with staff, health professionals, and a thorough review of the Governor’s guidelines regarding the opening of pools. The Parks and Recreation staff has been reviewing the CDC Guidelines for Pools since April and the final guidelines from the State of Ohio that were released last weekend. Several plans were considered that attempted to keep the Pool and Waterpark open on a limited basis; unfortunately, each plan ultimately demonstrated that the best decision for the community was for the facility to remain closed through 2020.

The health and well-being of our community and staff is at the heart of this decision. While I have been made aware of and understand that the virus may not be transmitted through the water, there were numerous points of analysis that factored into this decision. Under the State’s guidelines, the number of people allowed to enter the facility and the pool areas would be dramatically decreased in order to achieve the proper level of social distancing.  Movement in the water and around the pool deck would be dramatically curtailed. Furthermore, we could not meet the State’s guidelines for the proper distancing of staff throughout the facility.  There were numerous other considerations and issues related to staff and visitor safety relating to water safety.

The opening of the pool would also have caused a significant financial impact on the City considering the capacity, safety, and other guidelines. A financial analysis estimated losses at over $100,000 if the facility were to open. While the financial implications are one important determining factor in this decision, let me stress once again that the health and safety of our staff and citizens is foremost in this decision.

This is a very painful decision to make as I recognize that the City Pool and Waterpark is one of the many reasons that BG is a great place to live, work and raise a family. Unfortunately, the risks associated with opening the pool are not acceptable during this pandemic. I look forward to hopefully being able to reopen next summer and appreciate your understanding.

May 12, 2020

These few months have also been a good demonstration that your city is here for you.  Since March, City staff has been working tirelessly to maintain those essential services we all rely on.  The following has also occurred to help our community:

  • Municipal Court Judge Reddin has suspended eviction proceedings
  • Proactively discontinued utility shutoffs due to non-payment
  • Suspended utility late payment penalties
  • Reserved on-street parking within the downtown for business carryout service
  • Continued the parking holiday, making it free to park in City-owned parking lots
  • Worked with businesses to allow for increased signage and waiving the permit fee requirement for additional signs
  • BG Transit is offering free passenger fares
  • Explored new and different ways to have public meetings and allow for public input
  • Business Revolving Loan Fund – 18 month loans with no interest, no payments for the first 6 months.

On May 15, our restaurants will be opening to outdoor dining, followed shortly by modified indoor dining.  In response, the City is working with businesses to allow for more outdoor dining.  This includes allowing for tables along the sidewalks within the downtown and in the parking areas outside the downtown.

We, as a community, need to continue to work together to determine how we can best make our way through these unusual times.  Let’s work together so that when our businesses are able to open, everyone feels comfortable getting out and supporting them.

April 1, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic response is a continually evolving situation and there are lots of questions about the various services being rolled out for those in need.  Whether you’re a resident or a business, there are programs to help during these times of need.  Below are just a few of these programs.  I encourage residents to visit the City’s COVID-19 webpage for more resources and information.

Utilities: Water, Sewer, and Electric:

  • The city of Bowling Green will not shut off utility service for nonpayment during COVID-19 pandemic.
  • At this time, late payment penalties have been suspended and there will be no shut-offs due to no payments.  If you are concerned about your ability to pay for your utilities, please contact the Utility Business Office so that we can help you identify the best way forward.  Each case is unique to the individual, so please call us!
  • The public is urged to consider alternate arrangements to pay utility bills:
    • Set Up Auto Pay
    • Use Outside Drop Box
    • Mail – Use Envelope Provided
    • Pay Online (Processing Fee Applies)
    • Pay by Phone: 1-800-206-9415 (Processing Fee Applies)

City Taxes:

  • The City of Bowling Green is extending  the tax filing due date to July 15, 2020 for 2019 tax returns to be in alignment with the IRS and the State of Ohio.
  • Withholding remittance are not affected by this change and still due in the time frames stated in the Ohio Revised Code and Bowling Green City Ordinances.  Thank you to all the taxpayers who have already filed and paid their 2019 tax returns.
  • Income tax filings may be turned in using the drop box located outside the building or mailed in.  Staff will frequently check the drop box throughout the business day (Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm).
  • Forms can be downloaded from our website: FORMS
  • Need help completing your forms? Call 419.354.6212
  • A list of Frequently Asked Questionsis available on our website and may help provide some guidance.

 Trash and Recycling Pickup:

  • Trash and recycling pickup will continue as usual. Any questions on collection, please call Public Works at 419-354-6227.  The April Brush Collection will also continue as planned.  Residents must register their address by April 13th to be included on the route.

COVID-19: Where Can I Get The Help I Need:

  • For information on COVID-19: The Ohio Department of Health – Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov or call the COVID-19 hotline at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH. (1-833-427-5634).
  • United Way2-1-1 is a free, 24/7 health and human service referral resource available to all residents across Lucas, Wood, and Ottawa County. This non-medical, non-emergency system can connect community members to thousands of resources pertaining to food assistance, housing/shelter, employment, clothing, utilities, etc. You can connect with 2-1-1 by dialing two, one, one; text your zip code to 898-211; instant message by visiting 211nwo.org.
  • Wood County Job and Family Services: the State and Federal government have instituted new and expanded services to help those in need including new unemployment rules. Visit www.unemployment.ohio.gov.

Business Resources:

  • The SBA Payroll Protection Program (PPP) is administered by local lenders.  The PPP is forgivable and may be used to help with payroll costs, health benefits, interest portion of mortgage payments, rent and utility costs for up to 8 weeks.
  • City Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) are low-interest loans paid back over an 18-month period – no payments required for the first 12 months after issuance.  Call the Bowling Green Economic Development office at 419-353-3591.

March 26, 2020

With the Wood County Health Department announcing another confirmed case of the Coronavirus, COVID-19, in Wood County, many residents are probably wondering where is the person from and what should we be doing.  Both are good questions and certainly understandable.  While specific information about the individual cases cannot be released by the Health Department because of protected health information, we should keep in mind the basics of what we know about this virus – particularly how it is spread.  The Health Department advises that the virus is primarily spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.  This is why the health experts are asking everyone to practice good social distancing from one another (stay at least 6 feet away).  It is very important for all of us to recognize that while we have no publicly confirmed cases in Bowling Green, there most likely are cases of the virus in our community – we just don’t have confirmation yet because of limited testing.  What we can do as a community is to continue our good personal hygiene habits by washing hands frequently, if you’re sick, stay home, and practicing good social distancing.

The City will continue to follow the guidance of the Wood County Health Department and the Ohio Department of Health.  As information is provided, it will be shared with the community.

Protecting public health and that of city staff is vital.  Both will continue to be the guide when making decisions.  The public is urged to follow the Stay At Home order and the recommendations by our health experts for slowing the spread of this virus.

March 22, 2020

We find ourselves at a time of historic significance and we, as elected officials and public servants have weighty responsibilities and considerations. As providers of essential public services, there is much to balance in our decision-making process and this requires clear-headed, measured responses intended to prioritize those services which are critical to our citizens. We are also community leaders and we are well aware of, and have significant concerns for, the cascading impacts of restrictions, closures, and modifications on residents and businesses.

I am filled with hope as I see our community coming together to support one another during this unprecedented time. I encourage you to support our small businesses and restaurants (practicing safe social distancing of course!), donate to our local food banks if you are able, check on a neighbor, and deliver needed items to those who are not able to leave their homes. THANK YOU to all who are working tirelessly to keep the shelves stocked, our community safe and healthy, our children safe and educated, and to those of you working to keep “the wheels turning” as much as possible as we move through this trying time. And, THANK YOU to every one of you for the sacrifices you will make to help us all get through this.

Our response to this crisis is revealing the strong character of our community. I appreciate the cooperation and support of all of our citizens as we together confront this most urgent public health crisis. #AloneTogether

March 12, 2020

The City of Bowling Green is following the guidance from the Ohio Department of Health and the Wood County Health Department. Please be assured that the essential services that our community relies upon will continue. However, events and services that can be altered as a way to protect the public and city staff are being reviewed. For the greater good of public health and to flatten the curve by which this virus spreads, practicing smart social distancing and personal hygiene is something we can all do. It is not an overreaction to be responsible or prepared. Protecting the public health will be the guide when making future decisions. The City will be transparent throughout this fluid situation and will remain engaged and in close contact with health experts including the Wood County Health Department as well as our neighboring communities as the situation continues to unfold.

Further Guidance

What is the City of Bowling Green doing?

The City of Bowling Green continues to follow guidance from the state of Ohio, Wood County Health Department and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The City of Bowling Green and Mayor Aspacher are actively monitoring COVID-19 (coronavirus) and the impacts of the virus as the situation continues to evolve.  Mayor Aspacher assures the public that essential services will continue such as emergency medical services, fire and police protection, refuse collection, and utilities. City or community events and non-essential services and public access to facilities have been altered to minimize exposure and to protect the public and city staff.

The following has also occurred to help our community:

  • Municipal Court Judge Reddin has suspended eviction proceedings
  • Proactively discontinued utility shutoffs due to non-payment
  • Suspended utility late payment penalties
  • Reserved on-street parking within the downtown for business carryout service
  • Continued the parking holiday, making it free to park in City-owned parking lots
  • Worked with businesses to allow for increased signage and waiving the permit fee requirement for additional signs
  • BG Transit is offering free passenger fares
  • Explored new and different ways to have public meetings and allow for public input
  • Business Revolving Loan Fund – 18 month loans with no interest, no payments for the first 6 months.
  • The City is working with businesses to allow for more outdoor dining.  This includes allowing for tables along the sidewalks within the downtown and in the parking areas outside the downtown.

City Operations Altered

The Bowling Green City Administrative Services Building and all other city facilities (with the exception of the Bowling Green Municipal Court) continue to operate on a modified basis, restricting public access.  City staff in all of these offices continue to work and are available to answer phones and emails.  These actions are being taken to minimize face-to-face contact between employees and the public; however, city operations will continue to function.

Please scroll to bottom of page for Department specific recommendations during this time.

Contact Information:

General Questions – Mayor/Municipal Administrator’s Office: Phone – 419-354-6204; Email –
Finance: Phone – 419-354-6210; Email –
Grants (BG Transit and Transit ID): Phone – 419-354-6203; Email –
Income Tax: Phone – 419-354-6212; Email –
Personnel: Phone – 419-354-6200; Email –
Planning: Phone – 419-354-6218; Email –
Public Works Department: Phone – 419-354-6227; Email –
Utilities Department: Phone – 419-354-6246; Email –
Utility Billing Office: Phone – 419-354-6252; Email –

Reduce the Spread

    • Stay home if you (or someone in your household) are sick.
    • Wear a cloth face covering in public where recommended and/or required.
    • Maintain at least 6 feet social distance from others, even when wearing a face covering.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    • Avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you think you're sick, what should you do?

BEFORE you do anything CALL YOUR DOCTOR:  If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.

Using 911 Appropriately Regarding Illness.

Generally speaking, people are aware that they should call 911 in an emergency, but they are less aware of the circumstances in which they should not call 911.  The result is that many requests to 911 do not involve true emergencies, which overloads the 911 system with non-emergency calls.  General cold and flu-like symptoms are typically not circumstances that would require a 911 call and emergency response.

Individuals with concerns or flu-like symptoms should call their health care provider first with questions.  The Ohio Department of Health has a COVID-19 hotline 1.833.4ASK.ODH

By utilizing 911 for only true emergencies such as fires, motor vehicle accidents, life threatening injuries or medical emergencies such as, but not limited to, a heart attach, severe respiratory symptoms or allergic reactions will reduce the potential exposures to first responders, hospital based healthcare workers, and the general public.  Bottom line, utilizing the 911 system for only true emergencies is the best practice at this time.

Masks/Face Coverings

WEARING:  Public health experts want us to continue social distancing and recommend wearing masks in public. Please comply with Ohio Department of Health (ODH) orders for the safety of the entire community.   More information on wearing/making cloth face coverings available HERE.

MAKING/DONATING:  Several options are available for sewing masks or making “no sew” masks.  Locally, Grounds for Thought is coordinating “BG Sews for Health” email for more information.

The Wood County EMA is also collecting donations of cloth masks, N95 masks, and other PPE items for health care workers and first responders.  Please drop off at the Wood County Courthouse main entrance and leave with security.  Questions? Call: 419-354-9269

Use. Trusted. Resources.

Wood County Emergency Management - Situation Reports

Wood County Medical Reserve Corps

Interested individuals are encouraged to sign up and train at home now to become part of Wood County Medical Reserve Corps. To learn more, go to http://woodcountyhealth.org/ep/mrc.html. No special skills are required and anyone 18+ is welcome.  The Wood County EMA expects an increased need for medical volunteers soon and are especially interested in people who have health care
backgrounds and certifications.  To save time, please fill out the online application HERE.

Department Specific Information

Planning: Expanded use of temporary signage, outdoor dining, & parking lots

Expanded use of temporary signage, outdoor dining, & parking lots:

The City continues to look for creative ways to assist the Bowling Green community. In recognizing the challenging times of our local businesses, the City has implemented modified guidance to allow
for the expanded use of temporary signage, outdoor dining, and the use of parking lots for business activities. This modified guidance will be in place until December 31, 2020.

MODIFIED GUIDANCE

Additional Resources:
Site Plan – Outdoor Dining – Private Property
Application for Downtown Business Permit-Fee Waived Noted
Sketch Example for Downtown Permit

Questions may be directed to the Planning Department at (419) 354-6218 or by emailing .

Income Taxes

The City of Bowling Green is extending  the tax filing due date to July 15, 2020 for 2019 tax returns to be in alignment with the IRS and the State of Ohio. Payments of your 2019 tax return and first and second quarter 2020 estimated tax payments are also extended until July 15, 2020 without assessed late penalties or interest.  Employers withholding Bowling Green local tax are still required to remit withholding deductions to the City in the time frames stated in the Ohio Revised Code and Bowling Green City Ordinances.  Thank you to all the taxpayers who have already filed and paid their 2019 tax returns.
Income tax filings may be turned in using the drop box located outside the building or mailed in.  Staff will frequently check the drop box throughout the business day (Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm).
Forms can be downloaded from our website: FORMS
Need help completing your forms? Call 419.354.6212
A list of Frequently Asked Questions is available on our website and may help provide some guidance.

Utilities

The public is urged to consider alternate arrangements to pay utility bills:
  • Set Up Auto Pay
  • Use Outside Drop Box
  • Mail – Use Envelope Provided
  • Pay Online: Processing Fee Applies
  • Pay by Phone: 1-800-206-9415 Processing Fee Applies
The processing fees are assessed directly to the customer by the processing company. The City does not collect the fee. The online fee is $3.50 and by phone is $5.95. If these fees are a concern, we’d recommend customers use the drop box or mail in their payment.
At this time, we have suspended late payment penalties. Temporary shutoffs for non-payment have been suspended as well.
Questions? 419.354.6252

Refuse & Recycling

Public Works is focused on continuing essential services such as trash collection and maintenance items. Refuse and Recycling will continue to be collected weekly per your normal collection schedule.

SCHEDULING RESUMES FOR LARGE ITEM COLLECTION:  Residents wishing to dispose of items too large for refuse containers may begin calling on Tuesday, May 26, to schedule a pickup.  The program, which allows for a collection year-round by appointment as opposed to having to wait for specific times of the year, had been temporarily suspended as the City responded to COVID-19.

LARGE ITEM COLLECTION DETAILS

Permits

Residents and customers that need to turn in permits or other paperwork to the City Building may still do so. Permits and other commonly used forms may be filled out or turned in using the drop box located outside the building, mailed in, or submitted electronically via email (if applicable). Staff will frequently check the drop box throughout the business day (Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm).
Download Forms Online:
Questions?
Public Works: 419.354.6227
Planning: 419.354.6218
General/Admin: 419.354.6204

Pool & Waterpark

Due to health and safety concerns, the City Pool and Waterpark will remain closed this summer.  This was a difficult decision and one that was not made lightly. This decision was made in consultation with staff, health professionals, and a thorough review of the Governor’s guidelines regarding the opening of pools. The Parks and Recreation staff has been reviewing the CDC Guidelines for Pools since April and the final guidelines from the State of Ohio that were released last weekend. Several plans were considered that attempted to keep the Pool and Waterpark open on a limited basis; unfortunately, each plan ultimately demonstrated that the best decision for the community was for the facility to remain closed through 2020.

The health and well-being of our community and staff is at the heart of this decision. While I have been made aware of and understand that the virus may not be transmitted through the water, there were numerous points of analysis that factored into this decision. Under the State’s guidelines, the number of people allowed to enter the facility and the pool areas would be dramatically decreased in order to achieve the proper level of social distancing.  Movement in the water and around the pool deck would be dramatically curtailed. Furthermore, we could not meet the State’s guidelines for the proper distancing of staff throughout the facility.  There were numerous other considerations and issues related to staff and visitor safety relating to water safety.

The opening of the pool would also have caused a significant financial impact on the City considering the capacity, safety, and other guidelines. A financial analysis estimated losses at over $100,000 if the facility were to open. While the financial implications are one important determining factor in this decision, let me stress once again that the health and safety of our staff and citizens is foremost in this decision.

This is a very painful decision to make as I recognize that the City Pool and Waterpark is one of the many reasons that BG is a great place to live, work and raise a family. Unfortunately, the risks associated with opening the pool are not acceptable during this pandemic. I look forward to hopefully being able to reopen next summer and appreciate your understanding.

Parks & Recreation

The City of Bowling Green Parks and Recreation, in compliance with State Guidelines, is able to open the following:

  • Limited Restrooms in the Park – beginning May 23
  • Skatepark in City Park – beginning May 26
  • Eli Joyce Softball Field – beginning May 26
  • Bowling Green Training & Community Center – beginning June 1
  • Most Facility Rentals – beginning June 1

Still closed, by order of the Governor, are all playgrounds.

The City Pool & Waterpark will remain closed for the 2020 season.

Not Closed: The Great Outdoors

Please maintain at least 6 feet distance between yourself and others utilizing trails and other public spaces.
Our trails are still open, but please:
  • Avoid crowds.
  • Keep a 6 ft. distance between you and other park users.
  • It is okay to step off the trail to allow distance.
  • When passing, call out, “On your left!”, to notify those on the trail in front of you.
During this period of precautionary social distancing, The Great Outdoors remains open. There are almost 400 acres of parkland in the City; a park within 1.5 miles of every resident. Bowling Green Parks and Recreation encourages individuals to explore the parks, get some fresh air, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the natural world.
Questions? 419.354.6223
**ALL PARKS REMAIN OPEN**
Check out the Wintergarden/St. John’s Woods Facebook Group Page or the BG Virtual Parks & Recreation Community Page for fun activities & ways to stay engaged with our Parks and Rec employees!

BG Transit

The B.G. Transit is offering free passenger fares in response to COVID-19.  Fare rates will return to current established rates at some point in the future.  The City of Bowling Green will provide the public with prior notice of when this will occur.

Measures Being Taken in Vehicles:

  • Not allowing front seat passengers
  • Not combining rides
  • Sneeze barriers have been installed
  • Cleaning commonly used areas within the vehicle more often, including door handles, seat belts, Verifone credit card machines and tablets
  • Adding extra hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and spray to every vehicle
  • Following best practices for safe hygiene practices

HOURS OF OPERATION
Monday through Friday
6:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
No service on Sunday or Holidays

SCHEDULE A RIDE: 1-800-579-4299

Questions? 419.354.6203

Public Meetings

During the COVID-19 response and to practice good social distancing, public meetings will be live streamed over YouTube. Only those, whose meeting participation is required, will be permitted to attend in person. The address for the YouTube channel is www.bgohio.org/meetings.
This is a great way to stay engaged with local government from the safety of your home!

City Buildings

The Bowling Green City Administrative Services Building and all other city facilities (with the exception of the Bowling Green Municipal Court) continue to operate on a modified basis, restricting public access.  City staff in all of these offices continue to work and are available to answer phones and emails.  These actions are being taken to minimize face-to-face contact between employees and the public; however, city operations will continue to function.

Contact Information:

General Questions – Mayor/Municipal Administrator’s Office: Phone – 419-354-6204; Email –
Finance: Phone – 419-354-6210; Email –
Grants (BG Transit and Transit ID): Phone – 419-354-6203; Email –
Income Tax: Phone – 419-354-6212; Email –
Personnel: Phone – 419-354-6200; Email –
Planning: Phone – 419-354-6218; Email –
Public Works Department: Phone – 419-354-6227; Email –
Utilities Department: Phone – 419-354-6246; Email –
Utility Billing Office: Phone – 419-354-6252; Email –

Resources for Businesses

Responsible RestartOhio

Responsible RestartOhio is about protecting the health of employees, customers, and their families; supporting community efforts to control the spread of the virus; and, leading in responsibly getting Ohio back to work.  More details: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/responsible-restart-ohio/

Resources for Economic Support

Ohio Department of Health: The COVID-19 Pandemic has created a great strain on the nation’s healthcare system, but it’s not come without it’s economic difficulties as well. State leaders are working to ensure resources are readily available to Ohio businesses and workers to ensure we all weather this difficult time, remembering we are all in this together.

The links provided HERE will connect you with local, state and federal resources and funds for the following impacted categories.

#movingforwardbg

The BG Economic Development Office has developed a campaign to send a clear, consolidated message throughout the community and to provide some resources to businesses.  The campaign is entitled #movingforwardBG. Posters, yard signs (for businesses with frontage), and floor decals (for social distancing) have been developed and will be distributed to local businesses.  A banner is also being displayed over Main Street.

The message is as follows:

We are open.
We are safe.
We are strong.
We are #movingforwardBG.

The hope is that the community sees a clear message wherever they go — the bank, their place of work, their dentist, their favorite restaurant, etc.  Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts have all been created under the same name: Moving Forward BG.  Content will feature positive interactions between businesses and residents and will highlight how businesses are pivoting to keep their employees and customers safe.

Here’s how to get involved:

  1. If you’re a BG business, reach out to the BG Economic Development Office to request campaign materials.
  2. Please follow the Moving Forward BG Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter social media accounts with your business pages (and with your personal accounts if you choose) and share content as it’s posted. Encourage your staff and/or customers to follow these accounts if possible.
  3. If you have a story to share, please reach out to the BG Economic Development Office. We want to feature businesses on the social media pages. For example, maybe you’ve come up with a list of “best practices for working at home”, or your company pivoted your operations to make PPE products, or your business has donated to a local nonprofit. The list is endless.  Please keep in mind, these posts are not meant for advertising products or services.  Instead, these are focused on story-telling.  Anything that encourages positivity, economic interaction and/or moving forward — let’s begin to share those stories broadly with our Bowling Green community.movingforwardBG 18×24 Poster

Expanded use of temporary signage, outdoor dining, & parking lots

The City continues to look for creative ways to assist the Bowling Green community. In recognizing the challenging times of our local businesses, the City has implemented modified guidance to allow
for the expanded use of temporary signage, outdoor dining, and the use of parking lots for business activities. This modified guidance will be in place until December 31, 2020.

MODIFIED GUIDANCE

Additional Resources:
Site Plan – Outdoor Dining – Private Property
Application for Downtown Business Permit-Fee Waived Noted
Sketch Example for Downtown Permit

Questions may be directed to the Planning Department at (419) 354-6218 or by emailing .

Reopening Water Systems

As businesses in Wood County begin to reopen, water systems that have not been in use could be at increased risk for Legionella and other bacteria that cause illness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has created guidelines to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other water-associated diseases. For more information, call your local water authority or health department or go to CDC WEBSITE. If your facility does not have a Water Management Program in place, you can access a toolkit on how to create one.

Stagnant water must be flushed from systems to remove the risk of illness. Run faucets until the maximum water temperature has been reached. Additional guidance for specific facilities is provided HERE.

In addition, the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency have issued the “Guidance for Premise Plumbing Water Service Restoration.”

Please note that this guidance applies to the water systems of all types of buildings that are unoccupied or partially occupied during the COVID-19 pandemic, including but not limited to office buildings, manufacturing facilities, medical offices (e.g., physician and dentist offices, ambulatory surgery centers, outpatient centers, etc.), government facilities, and religious institutions. If you are a tenant of a building, we recommend that you share this information with the building owner, building manager, or management company and ask them to consider taking these precautions.

Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber has gathered a list of resources in an effort to help our businesses be prepared for withstanding the current situation and other emergencies and disasters.  Visit: https://www.bgchamber.net/

SBA Economic Disaster Loan Program

Information about the Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program is available at www.sba.gov. Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can also contact
• The SBA Payroll Protection Program (PPP) is administered by local lenders. The PPP is forgivable and may be used to help with payroll costs, health benefits, interest portion of mortgage payments, rent and utility costs for up to 8 weeks.

City Revolving Loan Fund

City Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) are low-interest loans paid back over an 18-month period – no payments required for the first 12 months after issuance.  Call the Bowling Green Economic Development office at 419-353-3591.

Save Small Business Fund

Funded by corporate and philanthropic partners, the Save Small Business Fund is a collective effort to provide $5,000 grants to as many small employers as possible.  For details and to see if your business qualifies visit: https://savesmallbusiness.com/

Wood County Health Department Posters

Looking for Employees?

Are you an employer with staffing needs as a result of COVID-19?

Post available positions here:

https://jobsearch.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/jobsearch/

Efficiency Smart - Evaluate Energy Use & Find Ways to Lower Cost

As your business is adapting to change, Efficiency Smart is here to help.
If your business has shifted its operations or is operating at reduced capacity, now may be a good time to evaluate your energy use and find ways to lower your costs.
We offer many free services to lower your electric costs without the need of in-person meetings, including:
Building Automation System Review
Businesses that use a building automation system to manage HVAC, lighting, security, and other items may need to update settings over time. We will review your current settings to identify ways to improve system performance.
Small Business Advice
Coming soon: Are you considering a lighting project but aren’t sure which products are best for your needs? Do you need help lowering your electric costs? Schedule a call with one of our energy engineers to get help with your energy challenges and for advice on lowering your electric bill.
AMI Data Review
Some new meters provide real-time data on your electric use. If your business has Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) data available, our team will review it and generate an electric load profile over a 12-month period. We use this data to identify outliers with your energy use and recommend changes.
Proposal Review
We review vendor proposals and construction/remodel plans, perform a cost-benefit analysis, and help prioritize projects based on your business goals.
Utility Bill Analysis
If your business has adjusted its operating hours or is temporarily closed to the public, you will notice a change in your electric use. We will review your electric bills and help identify any anomalies based on your new business hours.
EPACT Tax Credit
In addition to services from Efficiency Smart, businesses that have completed energy efficiency projects may qualify for the EPACT Tax Credit. Section 179D of the Internal Revenue Code provides tax deductions for qualifying businesses that installed lighting, building envelope or HVAC systems. Learn more about this tax credit through the Department of Energy’s website.
Contact your account manager, or our customer support team at 877-889-3777 or for help.

Resources for Residents

Resources for Economic Support

Ohio Department of Health: The COVID-19 Pandemic has created a great strain on the nation’s healthcare system, but it’s not come without it’s economic difficulties as well. State leaders are working to ensure resources are readily available to Ohio businesses and workers to ensure we all weather this difficult time, remembering we are all in this together.

The links provided HERE will connect you with local, state and federal resources and funds for the following impacted categories.

United Way 2-1-1

United Way2-1-1 is a free, 24/7 health and human service referral resource available to all residents across Lucas, Wood, and Ottawa County. This non-medical, non-emergency system can connect community members to thousands of resources pertaining to food assistance, housing/shelter, employment, clothing, utilities, etc. You can connect with 2-1-1 by dialing two, one, one; text your zip code to 898-211; instant message by visiting 211nwo.org.

Resources for Parents & Families

Information for parents and families during the COVID-19 crisis, ranging from family activity ideas to information about school nutrition programs:

Ohio Department of Health

Unemployment

Wood County Job and Family Services: the State and Federal government have instituted new and expanded services to help those in need including new unemployment rules. Visit www.unemployment.ohio.gov.

Job Opportunities

Has COVID-19 affected your job?

Find opportunities in your area: https://jobsearch.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/jobsearch/

WCDJFS: Local Financial Assistance

The Wood County Department of Job and Family Services will be assisting Wood County households whose employment has been affected by the coronavirus crisis.

Assistance will be provided with up to $1,000 for households without children and up to $2,000 for households with children.

The assistance will be paid directly to the household’s landlord or mortgage company and utility companies. Requests for assistance will be accepted starting April 13, 2020.

Assistance is provided on a first come/first serve basis. To qualify, applicants must state that they may fall behind on housing or utility payments due to a layoff from employment, reduction in work hours or income or loss of an offer of employment due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Households must have a current gross monthly income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. For a household of one, this is about $2,100 or less per month. For a family of four, this about $4,300 or less. The income amount varies based on family size.

Applications will be completed by phone interview. Paper applications will not be available at this time as the lobby of the agency is closed to the public.

Those in need may request assistance by calling WCDJFS at 419-373-6987 or by completing a request form at woodcountyjfs.com.

Callers will need to leave a message including their name and phone number. Requests will be processed in the order received. The program will continue until funds are exhausted or by order of the agency director.

Mental Health Resources

If stress reactions interfere with your everyday activities reach out to your mental health provider.

Dial 2-1-1 to be connected to any additional resources and referrals including mental health treatment today, or any other resources you may need during this time.

For immediate assistance,
please call the Wood County Crisis Line 419-502-HOPE (4673) or text “4HOPE” at the Crisis Text Line by messaging 741-741

The Ohio Department of Health has compiled resources to help you deal with the stress and mental toll of the COVID-19 outbreak.  Available HERE.

2020 Primary Election

On March 25, 2020, the Ohio General Assembly passed H.B. 197, a sweeping piece of legislation aimed at dealing with the state’s response to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.  Among other items, the bill sets April 28, 2020 as the final day of Ohio’s primary election.

Follow the Links Below for More Details:

Obtain an Absentee Ballot

Frequently Asked Questions

Wood County Board of Elections

Wood County Library Resources

SUMMER READING PROGRAM

Wood County District Public Library Begins Curbside Pick-Up

Starting Monday, May 18, patrons of the Wood County District Public Library can pick up materials they have requested at both library locations.

To use the service:

  • Patrons call 419-352-5050 to request items for pick-up in Bowling Green.
  • To request items for pick-up at the Walbridge library, patrons call 419-666-9900.
  • Bowling Green hours for pick-up service are 9-5 Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and 10-6 on Thursday and Friday.
  • Walbridge library hours for pick-up service are 9 am to 1 pm Monday and Wednesday, and 2 pm to 6 pm on Tuesday and Thursday.

Patrons can also place requests using the library’s catalog at https://wcdpl.org. However, since there is no delivery between Ohio libraries yet, staff can only pull items that are in the building at the time a request is called in. Patrons in Bowling Green will be limited to 10 movies; patrons in Walbridge will be limited to 3 movies.

On arrival at the library’s parking lot

  • patrons will call the phone number on the sign in the lot.
  • Staff will bring their items outside and place them on the table outside the door.
  • When staff have returned inside the building, patrons can exit their vehicles and pick up their items.

The library is following guidelines for safe handling of library materials, so staff will not be able to accept returns during pick-up service.

To return items, use the outside book returns at both the Bowling Green and Walbridge buildings. Patrons should expect a delay in seeing items removed from their accounts while returned materials are held for a quarantine period.

“We are really excited to be getting physical library materials to our patrons,” said Michael Penrod, Director of the Wood County District Public Library. “We will be able to share library resources while also keeping public health and safety at the forefront of what we do.”

Digital materials continue to be available at all times from the library’s website at https://wcdpl.org/eMedia.

Wood County Children 0 to 5 years old are now eligible for the Dolly Parton and Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library! In partnership with The United Way in Wood County, the seven independent public library systems in Wood County are excited to bring the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to
Wood County and put more books in the hands of children. Every child from birth through age five is eligible to receive a free, age-appropriate book through the mail every month until they turn five years old. Parents may sign up online here: https://www.unitedwaytoledo.org/gethelp/imaginationlibrary/ There is ZERO cost for a child or family to participate.

Avoid Scams

Attorney General Dave Yost’s Coronavirus Resources & Guidance

Ohio has come together to take aggressive action to help protect you, your family and all other residents of the Buckeye State from the COVID-19 pandemic. With our work and home lives drastically altered by this necessary period of social distancing, the office of Attorney General Dave Yost is here to help, whether you are a consumer trying to avoid scams and price gouging, a member of a public body seeking to continue conducting meetings transparently or a business owner looking to survive these trying times.

For full list of Guidance & Resources, visit:  https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Media/Coronavirus-Resources-Guidance

Contact Information

General Questions – Mayor/Municipal Administrator’s Office: Phone – 419-354-6204; Email –
Finance: Phone – 419-354-6210; Email –
Grants (BG Transit and Transit ID): Phone – 419-354-6203; Email –
Income Tax: Phone – 419-354-6212; Email –
Personnel: Phone – 419-354-6200; Email –
Planning: Phone – 419-354-6218; Email –
Public Works Department: Phone – 419-354-6227; Email –
Utilities Department: Phone – 419-354-6246; Email –
Utility Billing Office: Phone – 419-354-6252; Email –