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How BG Government Works

Bowling Green is a City Manager form of government as constituted under Kentucky Revised Statute 83A.150 and was established as such in 1969.

All of the powers of the executive and legislative branches are vested in the Board of Commissioners (all judicial functions are under the jurisdiction of state government). The Board of Commissioners is made up of four Commissioners who serve two-year terms and a Mayor who serves a four-year term. The Board of Commissioners make public policy and focus the direction for the City of Bowling Green.

The Mayor has the statutory responsibility to preside at Board meetings, recommend appointments to designated boards, and is the signatory of authorized documents on behalf of the City.

The Board of Commissioners also appoints a City Manager as the chief administrative officer. The City Manager administers the policies, procedures and directives established by the Board of Commissioners. Oversight and coordination of the daily operations of the City’s nine departments and their divisions is the overall responsibility of this position.

Board of Commissioners meetings occur on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall (located at 1001 College Street). Proposals for action are placed on the agenda by the City Manager or members of the Board. At the meetings, members of the Board discuss and deliberate items on the agenda, then approve, modify, or reject the proposals by a majority vote. The City Manager then carries out the decisions of the Board.

Meetings are open to the public. They are broadcast live on the local government cable access Channel 4 and streamed live on the internet through the City website.



Have you ever heard people talk about the “Karst” topography of Bowling Green? Have you heard anyone describe how we use our cave systems to move water rain water?

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.

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.

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.

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 underbgky.org for more information




As many folks in Bowling Green know (and for those who don’t), since the City’s first year of Select Neighborhood Action Program (SNAP) grant cycle in 1999, we have been careful to monitor the progress of the grants along with their effectiveness for neighborhood groups.  This has meant adjusting the budget and/or program guidelines from time to time to reflect the timely needs of the City’s own budgetary pressures, along with the evolving needs of neighborhood groups themselves.  Last year, for the first time ever, we suspended SNAP and replaced it with a Flexible Neighborhood Grant program.  We’re continuing with this FLEXIBLE program again this year.

As the name implies, this replacement program is meant to offer flexibility to organizations to be able to address timely needs and opportunities reflective of the times we find ourselves in today.  The program guidelines and application are greatly streamlined, and each application will be evaluated on its own merit during this time frame. Virtually any project that would have been eligible under SNAP remains eligible under this replacement program.

A key value of the Flexible Neighborhood Grant program is the idea of pilot projects and/or temporary projects.  In acknowledging the importance of short term and/or temporary projects, we are promoting some of the “testing” ideas that may be more impactful now than ever, as promoted by such leading organizations as the following:

None of us know how COVID-19 will continue to influence our public life into next fiscal year, but we am certain that a flexible approach to supporting our neighbors will be necessary.  The replacement guidelines and an online application process can be found on our website here:  https://www.bgky.org/neighborhoods/flexible-neighborhood-grant.  Anyone awarded a Flexible Neighborhood Grant will sign a grant agreement with conditions specific to their particular request. Applications are open now with no current deadline.  Reviews of applications will occur on a rolling basis, but grant funds will not be available to be approved until later in July.

If you have additional questions you can reach out to Karen Foley at karen.foley@bgky.org.





Spring and summer rains are essential to our City, but they can also bring issues in the form of flooding and water pollution. The City of Bowling Green is always working to improve our stormwater program in order to help prevent future flooding and water quality issues.

Stormwater is water that originates during rain events and does not soak into the ground but becomes surface runoff, which either flows directly into surface waterways (rivers and streams), or is channeled into storm sewers, which eventually discharge to surface waters.  These waters can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt and other pollutants. If heavy rains occur, flooding can also develop.

All cities deal with stormwater pollutants and flooding, but Bowling Green is unique. Bowling Green and Warren County are located in a karst region that is made up of caves, sinkholes, springs, and underground streams. There are very few surface streams and rivers. While most cities use streams and storm sewer systems for handling urban stormwater, Bowling Green uses a series of caves to handle water runoff.  A major concern with alternative methods of handling stormwater is water quality. Bowling Green faces unique challenges with respect to stormwater management.

Many of the challenges that are created by our unique typography are handled in large part by our Public Works Department.  The City of Bowling Green focuses on multiple stormwater projects every year and budgets accordingly. Each year BG focuses on various stormwater issues that can range from large scale retention basin projects to smaller neighborhood concerns.

In addition to the City working to fix the large scale stormwater problems, there are MANY things that the average citizen can do to help our water quality.  First, you can use household cleaners that are labeled non-toxic (that may be something to do anyway), pick up animal waste from your back yard (hey – we know it’s not pleasant but it’s better than drinking it), never blow sweep, or rake leaves/grass clippings into storm drains or sinkholes, and properly maintain your car to reduce leakage of oil and other fluids.  These are just a few hints and tips – for a full list, you can visit https://www.bgky.org//stormwater.

The City of Bowling Green Premier Grounds at Preston Miller are open for play! These four soccer fields are located at Preston Miller Park at 2303 Tomblinson Way. All four fields are 330’ x 180’ with Bermuda grass and will have multiple uses including free play, practices and tournaments.


These fields include a parking lot with approximately 280 spaces, sidewalks, lights, shelter and bleachers.


Preston Miller Park is 55 acres and home to the Russell Sims Aquatic Center. This park also includes a one mile walking/running trail, 18-hole disc golf course, a handicap accessible playground filled with many activities for children of different ages, and a basketball court. Preston Miller Park also has three sand volleyball courts where you kind find league teams playing in the warmer seasons. Along with the many facilities listed, Preston Miller Park also has a picnic shelter.


As warmer weather approaches and the days are longer we look forward to seeing residents of Bowling Green enjoying these great fields.

Don’t forget, Preston Miller Park also has a free outdoor gym for all to use!

May 4th, 2021 is International Firefighters day. Firefighters dedicate their lives to the protection of life and property. Sometimes that dedication is in the form of countless hours volunteered over many years, in others it is many selfless years working in the industry. In all cases it risks the ultimate sacrifice of a firefighter’s life.

International Firefighters’ Day (IFFD) is a time where the world’s community can recognize and honor the sacrifices that firefighters make to ensure that their communities and environment are as safe as possible. It is also a day in which current and past firefighters can be thanked for their contributions.

The Bowling Green Fire Department is a fully paid department that achieved international accreditation in 2008 and reaccreditation in 2014 and 2018 through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, also known as the Center for Public Safety Excellence. This accreditation gives us a rare achievement within the fire service in that only 3 fire departments in Kentucky and only 288 fire departments internationally have this distinction.

BGFD has a total of 141 employees working out of 6 stations and 1 administrative office building. The 7th station is currently under construction and will open in 2021. The department has the following divisions: administration, suppression, prevention/inspection and training.

BGFD Mission Statement

Our mission is to protect lives, property, and environment by providing a high level of professional fire and rescue services to the Bowling Green Community.

Supporting Values:

  • Service to the community – this is our purpose.
  • Professional Competence – we will train for improvement, proficiency and effectiveness on the job.
  • Teamwork – teamwork is essential to the effective delivery of our service. Each member’s contribution is important.
  • Our people are our most important resource. Develop this resource.
  • Integrity – we will treat our customers and co-workers with honesty and respect at all times.
  • Accountability – my competence, my attitude, my actions reflect on every member of the workforce.

Our responsibilities include a broad Scope of Services including:

  • Fire Prevention/Code Enforcement/Plan review
  • Fire Safety Education
  • Fire Suppression-Incident Mitigation-Loss Control
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Fire Cause Investigation/Arson Prosecution
  • Hazardous Material Incident Mitigation
  • Auto Accident Extrication/Heavy Rescue
  • Industrial Accident Rescue/Extrication
  • Confined Space Rescue
  • Water Rescue
  • High Angle Rescue
  • Trench Rescue

International Firefighters’ Day is observed each year on 4th May. On this date you are invited to remember the past firefighters who have died while serving our community or dedicated their lives to protecting the safety of us all. At the same time, we can show our support and appreciation to the firefighters worldwide who continue to protect us so well throughout the year.

BGFD is currently hiring. If you are interested in joining this winning team, please visit www.bgky.org/hr/jobs.


The City of Bowling Green recently held a ribbon cutting and grand opening for the new inclusive playground at Roland Bland Park on Wednesday, April 21, 2021.

An inclusive playground is a space where children of all abilities can play with a wide range of physical, sensory and social experiences. Equipment is more accessible and inclusive for those with special needs or disabilities.

This project has been a public and private partnership between the City of Bowling Green, PNC Bank, United Way and the State.

Features include a poured in place surface made of recycled tires which allows no terrain limits, wheelchair accessible ramps, sensory elements and more. This playground is open to the public and boasts vibrant colors, a wide variety of equipment, multiple houses to play in and around, as well as traditional playground equipment.

The ribbon cutting was attended by community members, Chamber representatives, the United Way, City of Bowling Green staff and elected officials, and more. We are very proud of this project and look forward to it being an asset in our community for years to come.

Roland Bland Park is located next to the F.O. Moxley Center at 401 Center Street.


Arbor Day

Arbor Day is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. Though usually observed in the spring, the date varies, depending on climate and suitable planting season. The idea for Arbor Day originally came from Nebraska. A visit to Nebraska today wouldn’t disclose that the state was once a treeless plain. Yet it was the lack of trees there that led to the founding of Arbor Day by J. Sterling Morton in the 1800s.

On January 4, 1872, Morton first proposed a tree-planting holiday to be called “Arbor Day” at a meeting of the State Board of Agriculture. The date was set for April 10, 1872. Prizes were offered to counties and individuals for properly planting the largest number of trees on that day. It was estimated that more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day.

The Bowling Green Community Tree Advisory Board, in conjunction with the City of Bowling Green, organizes an Arbor Day celebration every year to help make the public aware of how trees benefit us. This year, the annual Arbor Day celebration will be held on Saturday, April 24th, 2021 at Kereiakes Park from 9 a.m. until 12 noon.

A variety of trees will be given away during Arbor Day including Kousa Dogwood, White Swamp Oak and Norway Spruce. In total there will be 1,400 saplings available on a first come first served basis.

While there will still be activities and general information on trees, Arbor Day will be a “drive through” event this year in order to provide COVID-19 safety precautions.

Arbor Day is FREE and open to the public. We encourage everyone to spend time among trees and to learn about proper tree care and planting.

Please come join us for this fun and educational day.  For more information about the Tree Advisory Board or Arbor Day, please call 270-393-3111 or visit https://www.bgky.org/tree.


The City of Bowling Green is inviting photographers of all ages to submit their best high resolution images in the Fifth Annual City of Bowling Green Photography Contest “We are Bowling Green – Pet Edition”!                                   

Submission entries will be accepted April 1 – May 15th!

Entering is free and easy. Visit https://www.bgky.org/photo-contest-2021 to view all rules, criteria, prizes and to upload your photo.

Participants should only submit high resolution photos of their pets or favorite furry (or feathered) friends. We want to see the pets of our City! Please be creative when taking photos and make sure images match all criteria in the guidelines.

First, second and third place winners will be chosen by a panel of Judges and a first place People’s Choice award will be chosen by online voting. First place winners will receive a $100 gift card to Amazon and second and third place will receive $75 and $25 respectively.

Start snapping those photos today through May 15th.


Hills Bark Park!

Wanting to get out and do more with your dog?  Hills Bark Park at H.P. Thomas Park is a great way to implement socialization into your dog’s life and the perfect spot for your dog to make some new friends.  Dogs love to get outside on a beautiful sunny afternoon and play fetch and tug, and Hills Bark Park is the place to go.

With two separate areas, one for small dogs (under 30 pounds) and one for large dogs, Hills Bark Park is a safe place for your pup to play.  Once your dog is inside the gated area of Hills Bark Park, they are free to roam without a leash, but please remember all dogs must be on a leash when not inside the gated area.  Hills Bark Park requires that all dogs be caught up on their immunizations before being allowed to play with other dogs. \

Need a break while playing with your dog?  No problem; there are multiple shade trees placed throughout the park with resting benches under them so you and your dog can rest after a long afternoon of playing.  There is also a dog fountain for your dog to get rehydrated after an eventful day.

With the entire park sitting on over 17 acres, H.P. Thomas Park has a wide variety of amenities for the whole family, so when you get done playing with your pup your little ones can enjoy the playground or your family can cookout on one of the two grills the park offers.  The park also offers two soccer fields, so there is enough space for your entire family to spend quality time together.

H.P. Thomas Park is open from sunrise to sunset.

For more information on this or any other BGPR Park or Program, call us at (270) 393-3249.


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