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Sinkholes

Bowling Green and the majority of Warren County are located in an area with the highest potential for karst activity. A karst area is defined as being an irregular limestone region with sinkholes, underground streams, and caverns, and because of this our area has very few surface streams and rivers because most of our water is underground. Sinkholes are not new in this area they are simply a function and by product of the karst area we live in.

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The most common type of sinkhole in this area is caused by sub-surface water eroding soil thru cracks in the limestone leaving voids just below the surface that eventually collapse that we call sinkholes. Heavy rains, construction, various land use changes and concentrated surface runoff may increase the occurrence of sinkholes in specific areas and one of the reasons sinkholes may appear more often in newly constructed areas.

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On the surface sinkholes tend to appear rather suddenly and without provocation, but in general and in reality they have been forming slowly over time and finally appear when the surface can no longer support its own weight. Small areas can be examined with ground penetrating radar looking for anomalies in high risk areas but such methods are slow, laborious and expensive.

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The City of Bowling Green provides guidance to builders and developers that govern how they manage areas of concentrated runoff that hope to avoid creating karst collapses.  Further we provide guidance on how to repair sinkholes properly so that they do not reoccur.  Please visit www.bgky.org  or our partners at www.underbgky.org for more information.

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Summer Strolls

June 1st  2015 will mark the start of the 15th Summer Stroll Series hosted by the Neighborhood and Community Services division of the City of Bowling Green.

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Summer strolls are designed to create an informal setting where neighbors can walk with each other as well as City staff and elected officials in order to share and discuss neighborhood strengths, problems or needs.

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Strolls take place at various neighborhoods throughout the City on Monday evenings in June, July and August. A complete list of strolls – along with rain dates – is posted at bgky.org/calendar.

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The first stroll of the summer will take place on Monday, June 1st from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Pine Grove Neighborhood.

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Remember that Summer Stroll dates are scheduled on a first come, first served basis with priority given to areas where we have not recently strolled. Start times are 6 p.m. for June dates and 7 p.m. for July and August dates, and neighborhood contacts are responsible for selecting the staging location and routes. Rain dates will be reserved and all strolls are a “go” at the scheduled time unless a severe weather watch or warning is in effect for Warren County.

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A complete list of strolls – along with rain dates – are posted at bgky.org/calendar.

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If you are interested in scheduling your neighborhood for a stroll or if you would like to speak with our Neighborhood Action Coordinator, please contact Karen Foley at 270-393-3674.

The City of Bowling Green hosted a reception on May 12 to recognize those individuals who have recently become naturalized United States Citizens.  Fifty new Citizens and many guests attended this inaugural recognition led by the International Communities Liaison program in partnership with Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College, the International Center of Kentucky, Community Action of Southern Kentucky, and First Baptist Church. Over 70 new citizens were recognized.

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The program featured soloist Berenice Anaya, a naturalized US Citizen originally from Cuba serving in the US Army, who sang the National Anthem.  City Manager, Kevin DeFebbo, was the featured speaker, and each new citizen was recognized individually by City officials.

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The goal is for this to be a yearly event and to recognize that our citizen base is becoming more diversified. Many foreign-born immigrants and refugees are eligible to pursue naturalization and become active members of our community and to exercise their rights.

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The City has worked with various community partners who have been actively involved with immigrants and refugees through Citizenship classes and helping to process applications for naturalization. The process of naturalization is not simple: the eligible applicant has to submit an application to USCIS that has a costly fee, pass a citizenship exam, complete an interview process, and pass a thorough background check.

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The Reception for New Americans joins nationwide efforts to better integrate immigrants into American communities.  On November 21, 2014, President Obama established the White House Task Force on New Americans that has launched an integration strategy for the federal government, including goals and recommended actions to build welcoming communities; strengthen existing pathways to naturalization and promote civic engagement; support the skill development, entrepreneurship, and protect new American workers; expand opportunities for linguistic integration and education; and strengthen federal immigrant and refugee integration infrastructure.

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For more information on the Reception for New Americans and the City of Bowling Green’s International Communities Liaison program contact Leyda Becker at (270) 393-3766 or email leyda.becker@bgky.org

 

Crime Stoppers

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Have you ever been witness to or had information about a Crime? If so, the South Central Kentucky Crime Stoppers Program could use your help.  Crime Stoppers is a program which brings the public, the media, and the police together in the fight against crime. Those who report crimes can receive cash for their information.

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Citizens can phone in a tip on a crime or possible crime by calling 270-781-CLUE or toll free at 1-800-842-CLUE. Callers do not need to give their name. All that is required of the caller is to relay what is known or suspected.

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Once a tip is reported, the individual calling will be given a secret personal ID number that can be used later to find out if an arrest was made and how to collect any cash that they have been awarded.

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The Crime of the Week is posted online at www.781clue.com and citizens can obtain descriptions and or pictures of the current crime that is being investigated. Archives can be viewed and information can be reported on past crimes as well.

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In addition, those who call or visit the website may report information regarding a crime at any time, learn more about the Crime Stoppers Program or get information about donating.

For more information about Crime Stoppers please call 270-393-4244.

 

City of Bowling Green Zoning

The City of Bowling Green is undergoing a transformation in many of its neighborhoods.  This transformation is the result of a variety of factors over an extended period of time.

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Bowling Green saw tremendous growth from the nineties moving forward.  We have seen steady population increases over the past 25 years with approximately 45% growth since 1990.  This amount of growth creates a demand for housing on the local market.  Bowling Green has been able to support that growth with the construction of new housing stock.  Since 2000 there has been a significant change in the type of housing stock people are looking for in Bowling Green.  The number of owner occupied units grew by 2% from 2000 to 2010, while the number or renter occupied units grew by 32% over the same time period.

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It is important to differentiate between how a specific piece of property is zoned, the allowable land use, and the type of structure that was built.  Many of our neighborhoods are comprised of Single Family detached structures; however, they are located on property that is zoned multi-family.

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Much of Bowling Green’s older neighborhoods are zoned RM-2 or RM-3, which is multifamily, even though there is a house on the property.  This can often cause confusion about who is able to live in, or rent the home. If you live in property that is zoned RS-1A through D; you are zoned for single family use. Single-family means 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 any residential care facility.

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The City of Bowling Green Neighborhood and Community Services Department often gets calls from homeowners trying to clarify the zone they are located in and the allowable use. The chart below provides zoning classifications, use restrictions and example neighborhoods.

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Current Zoning Classification Use Restrictions Example Neighborhoods
RS-1A Single Family Dutch Gardens/Bent Tree/Covington/Crestmoor
RS-1B Single Family Hartland along Fairway
RS-1C Single Family Chenoweth
RS-1D Single Family Fieldstone Farms/Deer Park
RM-2 RS-1B and Duplex Magnolia/Nutwood/

Sherwood/TC Cherry

RM-3 RS-1C, Duplex and up to 8 units in a building Ironwood-Steeplechase/Portion of Crossridge/Springhill/Glen Lilly/Cabell Drive
RM-4 RS-1D, Duplex and multiple units per building McFaddens Ferry /Nutterville/Upper East Main

If you have questions or concerns about how your property is zoned or would like to request a zoning change, please contact Planning and Zoning at 270-843-1953. If you would like to file a complaint about a potential use restriction violation you can contact the City Central Department in Neighborhood and Community Services at 270-393-3641. For more information on your property and zone you can visit the GIS feature of the City website at http://www.bgky.org/gis/ and use the zoning information layer.

Summer was designed to give kids a break from school and help them try new experiences and grow mentally, physically, and socially.  Whether your child wants to be introduced to new innovative games, get creative, play, learn magic, cook, fish, or explore the great outdoors, F.O. Moxley Community Center’s Summer Fun Day Camp has something to offer.

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Camp Dates are May 26 – June 26 and July 6 – July 31 and children ages 5 to 13 are welcome (all 5 year olds must have attended kindergarten).

Registration for camp is open now and will run through May 8, 2015.  More information and registration forms are posted online at www.bgky.org/blog.

 

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Space is limited for camp, and pre-registration is required. Fees vary depending on drop off and pick up time.

For more information, please call 270-393-3642.

 

 

Lacrosse is the oldest and fastest growing sport in North America. Lacrosse will soon be a KHSAA sponsored sport and area high schools are looking to add the sport into their curriculums.

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Bowling Green Parks and Recreation is also planning on playing a role in introducing the sport to potential young players through coed fundamental instructional clinics during the spring of 2015. A s   kills based coed club league in the take place in the fall of 2015.

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BGPR is partnering with WKU Lacrosse Club and SKY Lacrosse Club to insure expert and experienced instruction to our patrons. The short term goal of this program is to introduce the sport and develop the basic skills necessary to play in an organized game. The long term goal is to have an organized league of teams that play full spring and fall seasons. This program will eventually serve as a feeder system to area high school programs much like our SKY basketball league does currently.

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The following dates are targeted for clinics.

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1. June 6 11:00-1:00 at Lover’s Lane Soccer Complex
2. June/July 2015 Summer Fun Camp at Roland Bland Park/F.O. Moxley CC
3. June/July 2015 Camp Good Times at Parker Bennett CC
4. August/September 2015 BGPR Lacrosse Club Practices/Games

Call Jarrod Wills at (270) 393-3624 or email jarrod.wills@bgky.org for more information and to register.

Spring has arrived and brings with it spring yard work and spring cleaning.  Often times, residents call the City regarding the disposal of large items or brush and limbs.

If you reside within the City of Bowling Green limits, Scotts Waste Services provides you trash pick-up. If you have a large item to be picked up such as furniture or appliances, please contact Scott Waste at 270-783-4016.

If you have brush or limbs that need to be picked up please remember that it must be cut less than 5 feet in length and 6 inches in diameter. The brush must be placed in a trash receptacle or tied in a small bundle at the curb. Scott Waste can dispose of 3 cubic yards per week.

For more information, or if you have a large amount of brush, you can always call 783-4016.

Please remember that if brush is cut by a contractor or lawn service, that company must also remove the waste.

 

BGPD

Police officers are trained to always expect the unexpected.  We avoid using the term “routine” because even the most common, everyday police interactions such as minor automobile accidents or simple traffic violations can result in the discovery of a crime or a wanted person.  Police officers are at a disadvantage in these situations because they never know who or what they will encounter.

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Sometimes police officers are perceived as uncaring or rude.  A vast majority of the time, officers want to help and are not trying to be rude or arrogant, but they are not robots.  They have emotions like everyone else.  Police officers work in a world where they must maintain their professionalism when regularly interacting with people who could be in pain, suffering, untruthful, disrespectful, or outright violent toward them.  Also consider an officer’s ever-present awareness of the serious consequences that may come from making a mistake on an arrest or use of force decision.

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Officers are trained to avoid being overly argumentative or disrespectful to people and they should never be demeaning to citizens by calling them names, belittling them or acting sarcastic but may need to raise their voice to be heard or to demand quick action for safety.  While we want officers to be friendly and approachable, officers are not generally trained to be overly cheerful or enthusiastic about taking enforcement action such as issuing citations or arresting people, as this can be insulting to the people on the receiving end of the action.

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In order to protect themselves and effectively detect signs of criminal activity, the law and the courts allow police officers to exercise reasonable control over a stop location including directing motorists where to stop; directing occupants to remain inside a vehicle or exit, etc.; to approach your vehicle from the passenger side to lessen the risk of being struck by a passing car; the authority to “pat down” for weapons if there is reasonable suspicion of a crime; the authority to compel the driver of a motor vehicle or a person being charged with a crime to identify themselves; and when reasonable suspicion of a crime exists, the authority to detain citizens for a short time in order to attempt to identify the person and conduct a brief investigation.

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Enforcing the law in the dark is more dangerous for officers because threats such as weapons are harder to see and easier to conceal.  The same holds true for evidence of a crime.  This is why police are equipped with powerful lights.  Do not feel apprehensive or embarrassed when an officer shines a spotlight or flashlight at you during a traffic stop.  Officers also appreciate it when citizens keep their hands visible and turn on the dome light so they can see what is happening in the vehicle.

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Even though police officers are granted reasonable measures by the law and courts, there may not randomly stop people or vehicles without reasonable suspicion or probable cause with the exception of sobriety checkpoints; they may not compel people to consent to searches by threatening arrest; and BGPD officers must thoroughly document their stops and investigations to provide the best possible evidence for a possible court case and to provide a check on the officer’s performance.

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We have very high expectations of our Bowling Green Police officers to treat people with dignity and respect.  However, if you ever feel that you have been treated unfairly, we would like to know about it so we can look into the matter.  Citizens are always welcome to come by or call the police station and speak with a police supervisor.  Or, if you do not wish to speak with anyone in person or over the phone, you may file a written complaint at City Hall.

Bermuda Grass Green-up

Spring is in full swing and golfers are starting to hit the links, baseball is starting up and soccer season has arrived. BG Parks has Bermuda grass fields at our municipal golf courses (CrossWinds, Walker, and RiverView) and Lover’s Lane Soccer Complex. We are commonly asked, “When will the Bermuda grass green?” The answer is, “Soon.”

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Bermudagrass is considered a warm season species of grass as opposed to Fescue, Ryegrass or Bentgrass which are cool season grasses. Bermuda functions best when it is warm and fescue functions best when it is cool. Fescue is the grass of choice for most homeowners here in Bowling Green, but during our hot humid summers, Fescue suffers from heat and drought stress, requiring lots of water and fungicide treatments. Bermudgrass on the other hand flourishes in the summer heat of Kentucky. In fact the hotter the better for Bermudagrass and it can handle drought stress very well and has very little disease issues. So, one of the main reasons why Bermudagrass is used on our golf courses and sports fields is cost. Bermuda requires less input than Fescue or other cool season grasses and it is in the best condition when most rounds of golf and sports are played; May through October.

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Another positive with Bermuda is it recovers very quickly from injury. Bermuda can regenerate itself via rhizomes (below ground stems) and stolons (above ground stems). When a divot is taken from Bermuda or some type of mechanical injury occurs it can recover very quickly usually within a week or two. Bermuda can also tolerate low mowing heights, usually 1 inch or lower. Due to this, a much more “level” or “quick” playing surface is the result. This is ideal for soccer and golf.

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The biggest negative of warm season grasses is that they go dormant during the late fall of the year and turn a light brown or straw color and remain that way throughout the winter. We call it entering a dormant state. As the soil and air temperatures cool in the fall, warm season grasses start to translocate carbohydrates produced in the leaves of the grass plant and move the carbohydrates into the roots to store for the winter. These carbohydrates act as reserves for the plant to survive in a dormant state throughout the winter and then in the spring the remaining carbohydrates allow the plant to come out of dormancy and start to produce green leaf tissue.

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Historically, we start to see our Bermuda green-up in early April and mow for the first time in early May. Last year our green-up was delayed because of the extreme winter we had. In fact, we had to replant several acres of fairways and soccer fields last summer due to winter kill. Winter kill occurs to Bermuda when the grass is exposed to sub-freezing temperatures for several consecutive days. We are very optimist about the recovery of our Bermuda this season. While we did have a tough winter in regards to snow fall we did not have low temperatures extremes for long periods of time.

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Turfgrass managers are always concerned about Bermuda recovery in the spring. We do all we can in the fall of the year to insure our grass has the best chance of surviving the winter. We insure that proper fertility levels are met, we raise our mowing heights to increase our root mass and depths and the list goes on. Soil temperatures, air temperatures, the angle of the sun and the day length are the major factors that dictate when our Bermuda will green-up.

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As of April 1, we should be three to four weeks behind normal Bermuda grass green-up this spring. Hopefully we will to continue to get 70 degree days and 50 degree nights and we will be off and running, playing and mowing and mowing and mowing. DSC01663

Hope to see you out playing golf, participating in sporting events and enjoying the beautiful recreational facilities our City has to offer.

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