BG spends $500,000 for soccer field space PDF Print E-mail
Written by HAROLD BROWN Sentinel City Editor   
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 10:26
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Bowling Green will spend $500,000 to purchase 20 acres near the Community Center on West Newton Road to develop soccer fields.
On a 6-1 vote, city council approved the purchase from Robert Maurer Monday night.
"I'm really excited, this is great news," Nathan Richardson, president of the Bowling Green Soccer Club said this morning.
"This really caught me by surprise. Our last meeting (with the city) was about six months ago. We have been in a holding pattern," Richardson said.
He said the club had been working with BG Parks and Recreation since 2007, growing from about 60 players to more than 320 in the house league. There are now 10 travel teams, up from six several years ago. The league has been in existence for about 20 years.
Council's first order of business was to go into executive session for 35 minutes to discuss property acquisition. A few minutes after returning to open session, the specific subject of the executive session became clear when an ordinance was added to the agenda to purchase the property. 
Fourth Ward Council Member Robert Piasecki voted against the purchase. Late Tuesday morning Piasecki said he was unhappy about the fact the purchase was made without public comment and the location.
At-Large member Sandy Rowland, who heads council's Parks and Recreation Committee, said the city has been working on various ways to address the soccer field issue for several years. She said the purchase will be funded by a low interest loan, not from general fund money.
The city had been talking with Bowling Green State University about leasing land and had also contacted the owners of land near Carter Park to address the issue. The Board of Parks and Recreation had been told neither option had been successful.
Assistant Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter said this morning the purchase will be funded by:
• A $70,000 land and water conservation grant.
• $80,000 from the city's green space acquisition fund.
• $350,000 from a bond anticipation note, which will require additional council action. The loan will be paid off over time from the green space acquisition fund.
Tretter said money in the green space acquisition fund comes from the 2-percent kilowatt tax on electric power sales by the city's municipal electric system. By city ordinance the money can only be used for land acquisition.
Tretter said an additional $42,000 is available from fund-raising by the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Foundation and the Bowling Green Soccer Club. She said that money will be used for turf preparation.
The purchase agreement indicates closing on the property will be on or before Nov. 15.
Council went into a second executive session at the end of the meeting to again discuss land acquisition, but adjourned after more then 30 minutes, taking no action.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 10:56
 

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