City invests more resources to combat winter weather

Campus Editor and Campus Editor

The city received 600 tons of salt since Friday to combat a snow storm that hit Bowling Green on Monday night.

Addressing city council on Tuesday night, Brian Craft, Public Works director, said the salt delivery is in response to depleting storages following heavy snowfalls since January.

“Hopefully that’s enough to get us through winter,” Craft said.

Winter may be waning, a welcome relief to Craft and his crew. Weather forecasts indicate highs in the 40 degrees and upper 30 degrees the rest of the week, with a chance of rain on Friday.

“We’re going to let Mother Nature do a little bit to get the gutters cleared out,” Craft said.

Craft’s Public Works division has clocked 3,547 overtime hours since January, he said. The record snows have given way to record salt used, as the city has used 1,800 tons so far, Craft said.

The division has spent $45,478 of its $48,742 set aside for overtime, leaving it with a little more than $3,000 to last the rest of the year, according to an article published in The BG News on Feb. 12.

Craft said it is likely he will request more money from council, but for now he’ll see how the weather pans out.

“We’ll probably just let the dust settle a little bit,” he said.

The council passed an ordinance Tuesday night that might help counteract the damage from the winter weather.

The resolution authorizes Municipal Administrator John Fawcett to contract private companies for sidewalk improvements, including deicing salt and improving streets.

Council also passed a resolution allowing Utilities Director Brian O’Connell to participate in the AMP Demand Response Program. The program offers incentives to businesses that reduce energy use.

The resolution was passed with an emergency clause, meaning it goes into effect immediately following Mayor Richard Edwards’ signature. Typically, resolutions go into effect 30 days after the mayor’s signature.

The need for the clause, said O’Connell to council, is a May 1 deadline for customers to sign up for the program.

During lobby time, members of a steering committee presented a master plan for future land use in Bowling Green.

While acknowledging Bowling Green’s assets, like a strong university, the committee also identified ways to improve, such as adding greenspace and improving transportation.

Members of the committee include at-large Council Member Bruce Jeffers, business owner Sandy Milligan, University Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Jill Carr and University Vice President of Capital Planning Steve Krakoff.

They encouraged council to think of their own ideas as they look forward to future conversations.

The presentation prompted a strong response from Mayor Edwards and Mike Aspacher, Third Ward council member and council president.

“I just think it’s another example of citizens willing to engage in the process of making Bowling Green a better place,” Aspacher said.