Mayor works on improving city

Yesterday morning Mayor John Quinn spoke to city officials and residents on what was to be expected for the city of Bowling Green over the course of 2004.

The speech was broken up into two topics: little things to expect and big things to expect.

The little things are more community based issues such as the restoration of the stone wall in City Park as well as the Community Reads program which allows city residents to help children learn a little bit more about reading, but the “meat” of the presentation was given to the big things to expect.

The rebuilding and restoration of City Hall and widening of East Wooster Street were the meatier topics.

The widening project was originally postponed because the bids were estimated too high for the budget that the city was willing to spend. On Jan. 7, five new bids were introduced and most came back a half million dollars under the previous ODOT estimation. Quinn joked that he thought he had finally postponed the project long enough for the next Mayor of Bowling Green to tackle.

“Pennsylvania used to put up signs saying temporary inconvenience, permanent improvement, and that is what we are hoping for,” he said.

The widening is essentially from railroad to railroad on East Wooster Street. There will be five lanes from Mercer Road all the way to Interstate 75 and three lanes from Mercer Road to Manville Avenue. The utilities are going to be run underground throughout Wooster Street.

The estimates should be approved within the next couple of weeks and then ground breaking could start as early as March this year. The project is estimated to take about two years and during construction, traffic from Wooster Street. will be diverted to Clough Road.

Another main topic of discussion was the deteriorating condition of City Hall. The building has a bad roof due to aging as well as old carpet that could be replaced.

And according to Quinn, with 48 employees working in the building now–and plans to hire a city arborist and new engineer– office space is inadequate.

Within the next few weeks, Quinn is will appoint 12 to 15 committee members to tackle the problem of what to do with City Hall– whether the city should build a new building with the necessary equipment and space, or renovate the existing building. Quinn hopes to have planning done this year with construction starting early next year.