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The City of Bowling Green has partnered with The Barren River District Health Department (BRDHD) and other agencies for a ‘Public Health for a Healthy Communities Pedestrian Plan’ Level 2 Mini Grant of $3,000 for a Pedestrian/Bicycle Master Plan for prioritized small areas within the West End Neighborhoods of Bowling Green, Kentucky.

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Within the West End, many sidewalks have been constructed, Greenway trails are located nearby, and three transit routes provide transportation to other parts of the City. There are significant gaps in the infrastructure that prevent residents from safely walking or riding a bicycle to daily destinations and transit stops, including schools, shopping, work, parks and other places. This mini grant will be used to hire a consultant to undertake an engineering analysis and GIS map of existing conditions and planned improvements for sidewalks in the West End with overall coordination and guidance provided by the project team. This goal of this plan will be to connect these gaps for a safer, more walkable West End.

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In addition to an engineering analysis and the use of GIS maps, the input of West End residents will be sought to get a better perspective on needs. The majority of West End residents are renters who struggle with the demands of daily life and working to pay for basic needs such as housing, food and transportation. Because of this, attendance at traditional public meetings would be minimal. Project partners will utilize existing collaborative relationships with organizations and individuals in the neighborhoods, and will take advantage of locations and events where people are already gathered such as schools, churches and community events to get input.

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This project will result in the development of a “Mini Bike-Pedestrian Plan” for the West End neighborhoods in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with public input that will support additional development in the future.

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The first event, the stakeholders Open House, takes place on Thursday, Feb. 11, from 4-6 pm in the library at Dishman McGinnis Elementary School, 375 Glen Lily Road. You can also find the event at www.facebook/barren.district.

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As we have recently seen with just over a foot of snow, winter is definitely here. Although road conditions can get hazardous with inclement weather, the City of Bowling Green Public Works Department is working hard to clear and de-ice our streets in order to keep the City up and running.

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There are many factors that play into how and why our streets get plowed. Plowing will only begin when snowfall reaches two inches unless the forecast predicts considerable snowfall. There are 271 miles of City streets broken up into 10 zones that are maintained by our Crews. These roads are broken down into A (129 miles); B (32 miles); C (45 miles); and D (65 miles) routes. “A” routes consist of roads traveled most often by emergency services, school routes and major thoroughfares. These roads are required to be cleared first. Often times, neighborhoods and especially cul-de-sacs are “D” routes which are cleared last.

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When large scale snow events happen, crews begin working in 8 hour shifts 24 hours a day. The City has 8 large trucks and 2 small trucks for plowing. The crew rotation is continued 24 hours per day until the event is over and streets are in good condition.

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The City has approximately 2,000 tons of deicer that is designed to last throughout a winter season. In addition, there is about 5,800 gallons of salt brine in stock.  Salt brine is applied to the streets prior to a snow event which helps keep the snow from adhering to the asphalt and aids in the plowing process. Deicer (rock salt with magnesium chloride) is also used to aide in the melting of ice and snow. The average snowfall for Bowling Green is 9 inches per year and deicer and salt brine is purchased based off those averages.

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Three separate weather forecasts are monitored during the winter months and the Operations Division of the Public Works Department heads out into the elements when light to moderate snowfall or ice is predicted.  All Operations personnel are subject to recall 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, year round, including holidays, in order to keep the roadways safe for the residents of Bowling Green.

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Please also remember that City crews clear only City streets. It is not uncommon to see a City/County/State truck out on the roads without their plows down. These vehicles must travel through each other’s roads in order to get to the appropriate streets. All agencies do their best to work together during major events for the safety of our residents.

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Thanks to all of our hard working staff who brave the cold, wind, snow and ice in order to keep us moving throughout the City! For more information about snow, routes and what zone/route you are in, visit http://www.bgky.org/publicworks/snow-routes.

North Side Fire Station

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The Bowling Green Fire Department has several stations throughout the City, but what you may not know is that Station 5 on New Porter Pike has a long history of uses for the City before it became a fire substation. Station 5 plays a vital part in training Bowling Green firefighters today.

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In 1983, 2.47 acres of land was purchased on New Porter Pike for $45,000. In 1984, a classroom building was constructed for $154,000 and was used for police shift change and training.  A draft pit was also built at the same time for the Fire Department to practice extinguishing chemical fires.  A fire training tower used to simulate different types of building fires was constructed in 1985 for $213,000 and in 1986, a burn pit was established.  Additionally, in 1987, a burn building was built for $100,000 to provide a place for firefighters to practice extinguishing an actual fire and to perform rescue operations in an enclosed space and experience the heat and smoke that accompany fires.

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Both the Police and Fire Departments used the property for several years.  Then in 1999, a fire substation was built to better serve the needs of the north/northeast section of the City.  The main building was added to and transformed into living quarters for the firefighters. A three bay garage area was added to house several pieces of apparatus and equipment and a large classroom was built that is used for training new firefighters and for ongoing education classes for all fire personnel.

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Because the training tower, burn pit and burn building were already in place, the Fire Department’s Training Division moved into this building as well, allowing for ready access to the training facilities.  Physical testing for potential new hires is done at Station 5 as well, using the Candidate Physical Agility Test (CPAT) course that is housed on the property.

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Over the last several years, many other training props have been added to help firefighters practice and prepare for real-world incidents.  They include a flashover chamber, a confined space prop, a maze, structural collapse props, a vehicle extrication prop and a firefighter safety survival  prop, as well as a vehicle fire prop that is set to arrive soon.  All of these training props allow fire personnel to hone their skills so they are better prepared when any given emergency arises.

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We all know the  bumps and bruises that can come along with navigating your way through your house in the dark.  Now imagine trying to find your way in an unfamiliar building. Then imagine an emergency deep in the halls of that building.  How are you going to find the room?  In 2012 a Franklin County school resource officer developed a system to assist first responders in school navigation.

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Fast Path Hallway Navigation System was born out of necessity.  Officer Montey Chappell devised the system after seeing a need for emergency responders needing to navigate a school or industrial building; something consistent and easy to remember.  The system uses a series of symbols and numbers to tell you where you are and where you are going.  A “1” means you are in hallway 1.  The number “3” on the left lets you know hallway 3 is on your left.  A dollar sign or an “E” can lead you to a stairway or an elevator.

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Warren County Schools and Bowling Green Independent schools are adopting this program.  Some schools have been marked and others are on the way.  Several industrial sites have reviewed the program and are considering adopting the system as well.

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The system was demonstrated during a scenario based training in which two officers, untrained in the program, were taken into a fast path marked school and told to find room 127.  The officers, unfamiliar with the school, took almost four minutes to locate the room.  The training officer then explained the navigation system to the officers in just a couple of minutes and asked them to run through the scenario again with a different room number.  The officers located the room from lobby to room in just over 30 seconds.  Impressive, right?

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In a world where active shooting situations are commonplace, we need to provide first responders with the best tools to keep the public safe.  The Fast Path Hallway Navigation System is another tool in our belt.

BGPD Citizen Police Academy

The 2016 Bowling Green Police Department Citizen Police Academy (CPA) is now accepting applications. This 11 week course begins March 3rd and provides an opportunity to learn first-hand about police operations through a series of hands on demonstrations, interactive presenting and simulated activities. Participants will become better informed about the reality of police work and policing in our community.

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Classes meet one night per week from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Bowling Green Police Department Community room at 911 Kentucky Street with off-site visits made to other locations such as the Justice Center, Jail, and BGPD Firing Range.

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Any citizen interested in the City of Bowling Green and/or police operations who is 18 years or older with no prior felony convictions can apply for the CPA.

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Academy curriculum and topics will include an overview of the department’s operations and organization, firearms training, a police ride along, mock traffic stops, K-9 demonstrations, mock crime scene investigations, undercover drug operatives, dispatch operations and much more.

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All classes will be instructed by Bowling Green Police Department or other criminal justice personnel.

If you would like to apply for the 2016 Citizen’s Police Academy, please visit http://www.bgky.org/police/citizen-police-academy or contact Officer Ronnie Ward at 270-393-4596 or ronnie.ward@bgky.org.

Bowling Green Police Capt. Terrell Sharber instructs police officers from the United Arab Emerates, at the shooting range Tuesday, June 10, 2014, BGPD officers will work with police officers from the United Arab Emerates at the BGPD gun range. (Miranda Pederson/Daily News)

 (Miranda Pederson/Daily News)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Auction

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The City of Bowling Green online auction is back and as always, is offering a variety of items that will rival any Flea Market.  You can begin bidding on all of our items starting January 11th at 8 a.m. at www.govdeals.com.

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The City of BG regularly posts online auctions in order to sell surplus items.  A complete description and photographs of the pieces, along with instructions on the auction process is available on govdeals beginning on the start date. The general public is encouraged to participate.

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To access Bowling Green’s auction, simply search for Bowling Green, KY on the govdeals website and all items will be listed with pictures and current bid amounts. Please note that items will not be available to view until January 11th. The auction will close on January 18.

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The list below includes most of the interesting and unique items that will be open to bid on.  Take this opportunity to get some new tools, golf clubs, a bike or two, office equipment and more! We really do have something for everyone.

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Shop till you drop – without even leaving your home! Please remember that all items are used and working condition is not always known. Partial list:

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  • Panasonic Toughbooks
  • Office Tables and Chairs
  • Couch & Lamps
  • Tools
  • Exercise Equipment
  • Office Equipment and Supplies
  • Bicycles
  • Fire Fighting Equipment
  • Golf Clubs
  • Shop Vac and Floor Scrubber
  • Jet Ski Trailer

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Remember, the pictures in this article only include some of the items. Log on, on the 11th to view and bid on all items.

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Holiday Fire Safety Tips

The cold weather and the holidays bring warm fires, good food, friends, family and great decorations. Unfortunately, the holidays can also bring a higher risk for fires.

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While you are celebrating this year, take time to make sure that you follow the guidelines below provided by the Bowling Green Fire Department:

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  • Only burn well-seasoned dry wood in your fireplace and never burn paper in a fireplace.
  • Never leave burning candles unattended or place them near anything combustible.
  • Always use power strips so that you don’t overload electrical outlets.
  • Inspect and replace lights and extension cords with exposed wires or damage.
  • Never run electrical cords through doorways or under rugs.
  • If using fireworks on New Years Eve do so carefully and always have a water hose ready.
  • Unplug all of your lights before leaving your home or going to bed.
  • Never decorate metal trees with electric lights.
  • Keep Christmas trees away from all heat sources and exits.
  • Keep fresh cut Christmas trees sufficiently watered so the needles don’t dry out and shed.
  • Never leave your holiday cooking unattended.

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For additional fire safety tips on candles, cooking, fire place, or turkey frying, visit www.bgky.org/fire/safety-tips.  Please remember to be safe and have fun this holiday season!!!!!!

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Follow us on Twitter or email kim.lancaster@bgky.org for tips!

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The City of Bowling Green recently received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the FY16 budget from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). This is the fourth consecutive year that the City has received this award.

This award represents a significant achievement by Bowling Green.  It reflects the commitment of our governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. In order to receive the budget award, the City had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity’s budget serves as:

  • A policy document
  • A financial plan
  • An operations guide
  • A communications device

Budget documents must be rated “proficient” in all four categories, and the 14 mandatory criteria within those categories to receive the award.

The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving over 18,000 government finance professionals throughout North America.  The GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting.

Christmas Open House

Each year in December City Hall opens its doors to the residents of Bowling Green and Warren County during our annual Christmas Open House. This year will be no exception as we will welcome guests on Friday, December 11th, 2015 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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This year, renovations to City Hall have recently been completed and we invite you to look around at all the changes to this historic building. Carpet, paint, artwork, and more has been updated in this building.

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Citizens are encouraged to attend the open house to meet the elected officials and City staff who work for the City of Bowling Green. As always, we will have great food, conversation, music and more during this event.

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Appetizers, punch and dessert will be provided by Cambridge Market which always gets rave revues from those who joins us.

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In addition to visiting with staff, be sure to pick up a copy of our 2015/2016 Calendar and Annual Report. Each year, the City releases a 12-month calendar that features pictures of Bowling Green with a theme.  This year will highlight the “sunrises and sunsets of Bowling Green.”  Along with beautiful photography comes information on our budget, past projects, future ideas and general information of what government has done for you over the past year.

Be sure to join us downtown for Holiday Cheer!

 

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Zoning Regulations

Zoning regulations can often be confusing. There are several neighborhoods in Bowling Green and Warren County that are currently zoned multi-family residential, but are predominantly single family residential in use.  In an effort to preserve the character of many of these neighborhoods, steps are being taken to downzone these areas to single family residential.

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For example, there are neighborhoods in the Hartland area that are currently zoned RM-4 (multi-family residential) which includes the permitted uses of duplexes, townhomes, apartment, condominiums, boarding houses and single family detached homes. The proposed rezoning to RS-1D (single family residential) allows for only single family detached homes.

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Single family is defined as a person living alone or any of the following groups living together as a single non-profit housekeeping unit sharing common living, sleeping, cooking and eating facilities:

  • Any number of people related by blood, marriage, adoption, guardianship or other duly-authorized custodial relationship;
  • Two unrelated people;
  • Two unrelated people and any children related to either of them;
  • Not more than eight people living in a residential care facility.

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The process involved in downzoning homes in a neighborhood is voluntary and includes the following:

  • The Planning Commission staff will meet with neighborhoods to explain the process and address any questions or concerns.
  • Next, the signature of all property owners interested in participating must sign the application. The Planning Commission waives filing fees and survey requirements for the group application.
  • Staff will review the zone change application for completeness and communicate with the neighborhood concerning any additional materials needed.
  • Public notice is given and letters are mailed to adjoining property owners, a sign is placed on the property and an ad is placed in the BG Daily News.
  • A hearing will be held where staff will present the proposed rezoning to the Planning Commission, which makes a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners (BOC).
  • Finally, the BOC will consider the recommendation and will hold two readings before a final action is made.

Downzoning a property will not affect property taxes or, in some cases, development standards. This process is to allow for the preservation of single family residential neighborhoods.  The attached graphics are representative of the Heartland area.

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