Green Space Task Force announced

Mayor Richard Edwards announced at Monday night’s City Council meeting the membership of the city’s Green Space Task Force, which will recommend a plan for the city’s green space.

The task force will be chaired by Eric Myers, who has previously served on the city’s Planning Commission and on the Bowling Green Board of Education. He also attends the First Presbyterian Church located next to the green space, which occupies the corner of West Wooster and South

Church Streets.

Also on the task force are John Calderonello and Diane Vogtsberger of Green Space Matters, a citizen-led group; Brian Bushong, the city’s director of finance; Brian Craft, public works director; Dawn Shinew, associate professor in the School of Teaching and Learning; Gene Klotz of Klotz Floral Design and Garden; Dick Newlove of Newlove Realty; Lloyd Triggs, Bowling Green High School art teacher; David Montague, retired executive with World Vision; Michael Penrod, director of the Wood County District Public Library and a First Presbyterian Church member; Wendy Chambers, director of the Bowling Green Convention and Visitors Bureau; Amy Craft-Ahrens, owner of For Keeps; Lori Young, associate professor in the School of Art; and Larry Nader, owner of adjoining property.

These fifteen people will recommend a plan and a timeline for implementation to the City Council’s Public Lands and Buildings Committee, Edwards said. Theresa Charters Gavarone chairs the committee, and Bruce Jeffers and John Zanfardino also sit on it.

Edwards asked the task force to ensure its plan’s design “requires minimal operating and maintenance costs by the city,” includes elements of Bowling Green’s history and considers the First Presbyterian Church and other neighbors. He also wants the plan to be “dependent upon a community-wide fundraising campaign” similar to previous park projects.

Edwards named Kristin Otley as the city’s next director of Parks and Recreation, effective July 1. Otley is currently the recreation coordinator.

“All the very best to you, and congratulations,” Edwards said. “We’re very happy for you.”

Council unanimously adopted an ordinance authorizing Utilities Director Brian O’Connell to enter into a wholesale water supply contract with Waterville.

The contract is similar to existing wholesale contracts the city has with other municipalities, O’Connell said. Outside customers pay a higher rate for water than Bowling Green residents do, because some of what residents pay in income tax goes into the city’s sewer and water capital fund.

“I think that everything has been carefully considered,” said Council President Michael Aspacher. “One cautionary note: I would say this, to me, raises the need to continually monitor our plant capacity. I know that that’s done very carefully by [O’Connell] and the board and the staff, but I just think as [O’Connell] mentioned in his remarks we do currently supply water to other small municipalities…. As we continue to potentially expand our customer base it’ll be really necessary to monitor very closely the

plant capacity.”