BG, Bowling Green, Downtown Bowling Green, Wooster Street

Bowling Green Council on Monday unanimously approved a resolution in support of developing a passenger rail line from Toledo to Columbus, with a stop in Bowling Green.

The resolution authorizes Mayor Mike Aspacher “to engage with all the necessary entities for the purpose of advancing the development” of such a rail route.

“This is an exciting concept,” Aspacher told council during the meeting, saying it would benefit the region and could be a positive for BG citizens. “I certainly will be eager to sign (the resolution), as I will be eager to engage in any future conversations with a broad array of future partners.”

The resolution noted that Toledo Council has taken recent actions in cooperation with the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments to take the next step in the study of this possibility.

The language of the resolution noted that Bowling Green’s 2018 Community Action Plan “has a number of goals, including ‘attracting and retaining young professionals and families’ and improving various sections of Bowling Green,” and that “the development of such a passenger rail service, including a stop in Bowling Green, would be an asset to the city’s proposed Gateway District and provide connectivity between Bowling Green and the region.”

The resolution also stated that a strength of the city is its “success and on-going commitment to improving sustainability and desire to encourage multiple modes of transportation,” and that “in the future, it may be more and more beneficial to increase inter-connections between public universities.”

It further stated that recent studies conducted by the city support the movement toward greener alternatives, an increasing need for inter-connectivity promoting innovative development, attracting targeted demographics, and building on its strengths and the potential for advancing these goals may be enhanced through establishing a passenger rail line linking Bowling Green with Toledo, Detroit Metro Airport, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Traverse City and points south to Columbus.

“I’m pleased that our city council can add our voices to the choir singing the praises of having passenger rail … with a stop in Bowling Green,” said Councilman Bill Herald. “I think it has the potential to be a game-changer in our development.”

Also at the meeting, council:

• Introduced, and gave first and second readings to, the 2022 city budget. Including both the non-utility and utility budgets, the 2022 budget includes $176 million in appropriations. However, it was noted that when interdepartmental transfers are taken into account, the budget totals approximately $146 million.

• Passed an ordinance changing the zoning of 4.21 acres of land at 300 E. Poe Road from M-2 General Industrial to B-2 General Commercial. Robert and Patricia Maurer were the petitioners for the change. The property for decades served as the offices of the Sentinel-Tribune.

• Voted to excuse Councilman Jeff Dennis from the meeting.