Bowling Green utility helps city reclaim its downtown
Originally published July 29, 2013
Bowling Green Municipal Utilities is a vital participant in an ambitious effort to redevelop the Kentucky city’s downtown district. Kentucky law returns a portion of incremental state tax revenues to cities that successfully redevelop blighted areas, said Mark Iverson, general manager of the municipal electric, water, sewer and fiber optic utility.
Local leaders in Bowling Green embarked on a redevelopment plan in 2008, just before the nation’s economy nosedived. Economic conditions notwithstanding, a nonprofit group formed to oversee redevelopment was, by fall 2008, committed to bringing at least $150 million in new development to a designated portion of the city, said Doug Gorman, a member of the board of the nonprofit group. The group had until December 2014 to meet the investment target, but hit its goal two years earlier, in December 2012, said Gorman.
New facilities in the redeveloped neighborhood include a spacious, energy-efficient new office building for Bowling Green Municipal Utilities. Utility staff moved into the new building in April. The new building occupies the same lot as BGMU’s old, now-demolished building, which staff had outgrown. The utility sits next-door to a gleaming new stadium for Bowling Green’s new minor league Single-A baseball team, the Hot Rods, and is a short walk away from a performing arts center spacious enough to accommodate touring Broadway shows.
Bowling Green’s downtown renaissance is recounted in a Public Power magazine article, "Where the Sidewalks Are," which is posted on publicpower.org.
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