Did you know that the City of Bowling Green’s population is drastically changing? According to the US Census, nearly 11% of Bowling Green’s residents are foreign-born (which is higher than any other city in Kentucky). Currently, residents in our City speak 49 languages and represent 39 different countries. As demographics change in our community, the importance of staff training to enhance customer service is undeniable.
Over the next several months, the City will be hosting multiple two hour long cultural competency training sessions for all of our staff. These trainings will help staff build awareness, knowledge and skills through a variety of teaching methods including direct instruction, role playing, case studies, facilitated group discussions, and technology/media.
Every City employee will have an opportunity to participate in the training and classes will be facilitated by Leyda Becker, the City’s International Communities Liaison. Leyda holds a training license in Cultural Competency from the nationally recognized Cross-Cultural Health Care Program in Seattle, Washington.
If you have any questions about this training program, our language access services, the Amigos Resource Network or the City of Bowling Green International Communities Advisory Council, please feel free to contact Leyda at email@example.com or at (270) 393-3766.
Bowling Green Police Department, K-9 Danny was a special member of the Police Department. Danny was one of our two German Shepherds and was born in Slovakia in November of 2005. He became a K9 with the BGPD in 2007 and was paired with Master Police Officer Erik Woodward and the two were instant friends and before long, companions.
The Bowling Green Police Department K9 Unit provides a great service to the community, tracking missing persons, apprehending suspects and locating evidence. The highly trained German Shepherds allow police officers to work in a safer and more efficient manner and perform functions that humans are simply unable to do.
Erik and Danny worked countless hours honing skills in drug detection and tracking/apprehension and became very good at both. Over Danny’s career, he has located numerous pounds of marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine and countless sums of money. Once, Danny located over $40,000 in a wall safe during a search warrant.
On July 27, 2014, Danny was diagnosed with cancer. As a result of the diagnosis, the veterinarian gave Danny mere weeks to live. Erik retired Danny on July 29th and made sure Danny was comfortable at home. On August 10, 2014, Erik knew Danny was beginning to feel sick and he made the hard decision to have Danny euthanized.
All who listened to the police radio or came into the back parking lot of the station could hear the familiar bark of Danny. Danny was a great asset to the City, a great friend to Erik and will be missed by all the officers of the Bowling Green Police Department.
Thank you for your service Danny.
One of the subjects that seems to interest people most about Firehouse living is how we feed ourselves. Common questions include: Who cooks? What kind of food do you eat? Does the City pay for your food? How come I see your guys in the grocery store? What happens if you get called out while you’re eating?
I have learned to understand that these things may not be obvious to a lot of folks and now appreciate the fact that they are interested in how we do things.
Here is how it works:
Bowling Green Firefighters work 24 hour shifts starting at 7 a.m. and ending at 7 a.m. the next day. They have to eat during that time so each shift includes two meals, lunch and dinner or “supper” depending on where you’re from.
Who cooks? Firefighters take turns cooking. Sometimes for a two week period or it may be day to day. It depends on the schedule. Sooner or later everyone has to cook. Some Firefighters are pretty good cooks…others, not so much. During my career I have worked with Firefighters who had been to French cooking schools and with others who could not boil water (at least when they first started). Most Firefighters fall somewhere in between. If you are willing to learn, there is usually a lot of interest in helping the cook, after all, everyone is stuck eating the result.
What kind of food do you eat? The food has changed a lot over the years. 25 years ago you would find a five gallon bucket of lard next to the stove. Just about EVERY DAY included beans and cornbread. Fried food ruled! The food was good but maybe not so good for you. Over time, Firefighters became more interested in healthy cooking. Today the grill gets used a lot and salads are the norm. During the winter, chili, soups, and large casserole type dishes are common table fare. Learning how to make the right amount for 10 to 12 hungry people is one of the most important things to learn. Tradition says the cook goes through the line last. You learn not to come up short.
What about shopping for groceries? That’s right; the cook is responsible for procuring the day’s food. Most of the time, the crew goes to the store with the assigned cook. The cook is in charge of deciding what to cook and how much money to spend on it. They have a budget to follow.
Does the City buy your food? No. All Firefighters chip in to finance the food. On average it will cost about $100.00 per month for each person. So in a typical year, Bowling Green Firefighters spend about $133,000 buying groceries. That ain’t chump change!!
What happens if you get an emergency call while you’re eating? This happens a lot. We go. It does not matter what you are doing when a call comes in – you have one minute to be on the truck ready to go. Mealtime is no different. It is the cook’s job to turn of the stove and secure the kitchen. Sometimes you get back in time to finish the meal, sometimes not. It’s just part of the job.
One thing you learn is to not complain about the cooking unless you are willing to help. I once overheard a guy complain about too much cheese in the lasagna. Guess what? Extra cheese went in immediately. Another complained about too much chicken to suit him. Guess what? Chicken every meal for two months. Firehouse etiquette, you learn quick.
Thanks for your interest, Chief Johnson
They City of Bowling Green partnered with citizens and agencies when developing the 2014 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Consolidated Plan which includes a heavy focus on the newly identified BG Reinvestment Area. This new plan allows the City to prioritize its limited funding for the betterment of its citizens and the community as a whole.
This strategic plan addresses the priority needs for years 11-15 of the program, covering Fiscal Years 2015 -2019. The CDBG program is a flexible program that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs.
The BG Reinvestment Area is identified by six census tracts (Census tracts 101, 102, 103, 104, 105 and the city portion of 112). The area contains the largest portions of minority populations, the highest level of low income residents and the oldest homes. Each of the next five years, the City will contribute 60% of its CDBG allocation toward neighborhood improvements within this area.
The projects completed within the BG Reinvestment Area will focus on public improvements and benefit the area as a whole. Projects will include the building or updating of City parks, improvements to City streets or sidewalks within the defined tracts, construction of public facilities and various other neighborhood improvements. The overall goal of this project is to create a better residential environment and address the housing needs in the area.
The BG Reinvestment Area is 75% renter occupied compared to the City’s 63%; the income of the residents are below City-wide levels; and only 13% of the housing units in the area were built in the last 20 years.
The City utilized publicly available data sources, citizen input, and past experiences in the planning and development of the CDBG Consolidated Plan. If you would like more information about the Bowling Green Reinvestment Area or any specific plans, please call 270-393-3658.
The City of Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department offers multiple recreation classes and leagues. This fall, there will be a new Silver Strength Class for our senior citizens and a Biddy Ball league for our youngest residents.
The New Silver Strength Class will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. until 9:25 a.m. and will focus on orienting members to the cardiovascular and weight equipment in the facility. This new class is part of the SilverSneaker’s program at Bowling Green Parks and Recreation which is a fun, energizing program that helps older adults take greater control of their health by encouraging activity and offering social events.
Additional SilverSneakers classes and their schedule can be viewed at http://www2.bgky.org/bgpr/fitness/silversneakers.php. The classes are located at Parks and Recreation, 225 East Third Avenue.
Or maybe you are looking for a fun activity for your 3 to 5 year old? If so, Biddy Ball may be the perfect program. Biddy Ball is a great introduction to the sport of basketball with lowered rims and relaxed rules that makes the game enjoyable and allows for a learning of the basics. Kids will play on one half of the court with a smaller than normal basketball.
Registration for the 2014 league will begin on Monday, August 4th and will run through Friday, August 8th from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at F.O. Moxley Community Center.
Games will begin on September 13 and the cost is $35 per child and includes a jersey. Space is limited so please register early. For more information call 393-3734.
Looking for a fun activity for you or your kids to enjoy? The City’s Skate Park is just the place. A family-friendly atmosphere and a good physical activity for everyone. Watch this week’s Update BG to learn more:
Jul 16th, 2014 by Kim
When Neighborhood & Community Services (NCS) makes its move from the City Hall Annex up to their new location on Reservoir Hill, they’ll be joined by another division: the City’s Animal Control Officers, who are currently part of the Bowling Green Police Department.
Seven-year Animal Control veteran Bill Gruszczyk will be making the move with new hire Holly Avery, but not until the renovated building at 707 E. Main Avenue is ready. NCS Director Brent Childers says that is on track to happen sometime in August. In the meantime, BGPD will be getting new ACO Holly Avery, a former BGPD dispatcher, fully trained and working.
“Animal Control is really a code enforcement function with a neighborhood focus. We’re just putting them where they best fit,” explained Police Chief Doug Hawkins.
“Even after the transition, Animal Control will continue to be dispatched by the Police Department, so citizens may not even notice a change there,” added Childers. “And they’ll still work very closely with Police. But we think this will be a win-win for our Animal Control Officers and our code inspectors to build on and enhance our overall service in neighborhoods together.”
The move is the newest in a series of additions and enhancements to Neighborhood & Community Services, formerly known as Housing & Community Development. The City Central Coordinator and Neighborhood Action Coordinator moved to the department in 2010, and the International Communities Liaison moved from an assignment in the Police Department to an expanded City-wide role in NCS in 2012.
Like these changes, this newest one is in keeping with the City’s emphasis on maintaining the vitality and integrity of its neighborhoods by incorporating functions with a neighborhood focus under one umbrella.
Retired BGPD veteran and new Code Enforcement Coordinator James Napper will supervise Animal Control. More detailed information will follow in the next few weeks about NCS’s move and how you can access their services at their new location.
Do you use social media? Are you curious about what is happening in and around the City of Bowling Green?
The City of Bowling Green Facebook and Twitter Pages are a great way for folks to stay up to date about issues and events taking place in the City as well as be able to provide feedback or ask questions to staff.
When posting to our social media sites, we focus on information that is pertinent to citizens such as road closings, special events, parks and recreation classes and camps, changes in the City, traffic and accident updates, police department information and fire departments tips and notifications.
To follow us on Twitter log onto twitter.com/CityofBGKY and to like us on Facebook log onto facebook.com/citybgky .
For more information, please call 270-393-3642.
Have you ever wondered how it is determined which roads are paved in the City of Bowling Green? The City maintains approximately 278 miles of streets; a length which grows annually with the build-out of new subdivisions. The total number of lane miles to be paved will vary from year to year and depends largely on the cost of asphalt as well as existing conditions such as the need to do more intensive repairs beyond a typical overlay in some locations.
Street conditions are surveyed annually by an outside consultant using a vehicle with high-tech equipment including lasers, cameras, computers and other measuring devices. The data which is collected is maintained in a pavement Management Application (PMA). The PMA performs an analysis recommending the most economically efficient allocation of available funds to sustain pavement quality throughout the street network.
In addition to the above method, staff also conducts field inspections to evaluate and prioritize projects and develop the final project list each year. This allows the City to use both data and personal inspection to make sure the right roads are being paved.
The Board of Commission recently approved the FY 2014 Paving Contract. Scotty’s Contracting and Stone was awarded the $900,000 contract for the City’s Annual Overlay Project which is starting this summer. This program is funded annually through Liquid Fuel Tax revenue received from the State of Kentucky.
For this Fiscal Year (July 14 to June 15), we are projecting paving approximately 4.3 miles of streets which includes supplemental streets. Completion of all projects will depend upon actual field conditions and will be completed as funds allow. If the supplemental streets are not completed in the current Fiscal Year, those streets will carry over to the FY2015 list. Below is the Annual Overlay Project list.