Council raises parking prices over winter break


council recap- Adam

Adam Gretsinger and Adam Gretsinger

Bowling Green City Council remained busy over the winter break as BGSU’s studies mostly paused.

City Council held two meetings over the break, both of which helped set up routine activities for the governing body’s 2019 and resolved goals made last year, including the idea of raising parking prices.

The first of these meetings was on Dec. 27. The Council introduced one piece of legislation allowing the city to contract the demolition of City Park buildings to an outside group and have another company build a new building in the same park. Such changes to the park building were discussed and voted on late last fall.

Amended manuals for the town’s Community Development Block Grant and Housing Revolving Loan Fund policies, for town development and resident assistance funding, were also brought into law. Motions to find means to sell scrap metal and purchase water meters and vehicles were also approved.

The second meeting on Jan. 7 this year was cancelled, so the Council’s next meeting on Jan. 22 covered much ground.

Members unanimously voted to raise the cost of parking at metered spots from 25 cents to 50 cents at the urging of a parking task force. Committee Head Bruce Jeffers said the group’s overall support for the changes came from cost analyses, the city’s need for refurbished parking spaces and studies into other cities’ parking policies.

While more free parking was on the group’s table at a point, property owners in the committee eventually found the concept too difficult to properly implement.

Jeffers also asked for the city to approve raising the time limit on the meters from 2 to 3 hours and to implement free parking spots for those with handicap parking permits.

Council President Mike Aspacher also supported voting on the parking ordinance at the meeting because of the growing “hole” the city’s previous parking policy was making in the city budget.

However, the discussion of the subject may not be done yet. Though she voted for the resolution, member Sandy Rowland said various business owners were not satisfied with the potential changes and said the overall structure of parking was still not in an optimal place.

“We (should) continue searching for answers and revisit this at appropriate times,” she said before giving her approval for the motion.

Member Bill Herald concurred with Rowland’s statement before also voting affirmatively.

Different members of council introduced legislation for opening bids to outsource efforts for various large-scale projects, including power line installation at the roundabouts being built on the Wooster Street bridge over Interstate 75.

Municipal Administrator Joe Fawcett and other members of the town government, including Mayor Richard Edwards, thanked different city workers, including firefighters and police officers, for their efforts cleaning up snow and helping with related issues after the Jan. 20 snowstorm.  

Council members and other citizens met outside of regular meeting times at a Council Administration Strategic Planning Meeting to set up 2019 goals for the city administration. There were four main goals.

· Continue supporting neighborhood revitalization efforts, including the CAP plan

·  Recognize opportunities for economic development in the city

· Create a Council statement of support for BG City Schools

· Improve the “BG Citizen Experience,” to help citizens appreciate their roles as citizens better

City Council next meets on Feb. 4 in City Hall.