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Published: Tuesday, 3/15/2005

State-of-county on tap at Bowling Green

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

BOWLING GREEN - Once they've had a cup of coffee tomorrow morning, Wood County commissioners say they'll be ready to field questions on everything from county finances to courthouse security.

The three commissioners are to deliver their first state-of-the-county address at 7:30 a.m. at the Wood County District Public Library.

Each of them will take a turn at the microphone, hitting on topics varying from the impact of retail development on the county's sale tax receipts to the radical changes made at the county-owned nursing home, Wood Haven Health Care.

Commissioner Alvie Perkins, who recently spent nine days at Wood Haven recovering from knee-replacement surgery, said he'll be speaking from first-hand experience about the home's physical therapy program, the mechanical lift system that has reduced employee strains and increased patient dignity, and the extensive renovations going on at the facility on East Gypsy Lane Road.

"Wood County has been in the business of caring for senior citizens since the 1860s," Mr. Perkins said. "We've been in the business longer than anyone else in Wood County."

Commissioner Tim Brown will be discussing economic deveopment in the county, including the boom in the retail sector.

He said the development along U.S. 20 in Rossford as well as the recently opened Levis Commons shopping town off State Rt. 25 have given substantial boosts to sales tax revenues.

"With stores like Home Depot, Linens 'n Things, and Pier 1 Imports - the things people were leaving the county for - people can now shop here," Mr. Brown said. "I always like to brag that our sales tax rate is slightly lower than in Lucas County so people can save on sales tax and keep their tax dollars in the county."

Wood County's sales tax rate is 7 percent, while Lucas County charges 7.25 percent.

Mr. Brown said he also plans to use the breakfast program to emphasize the importance of local government funds to area libraries, townships, municipalities, and county governments. The Wood County library gets 99 percent of its operating dollars from local government funds, while the county gets 6.8 percent of its operating budget or $2.1 million from local government funds.

Mr. Brown said he will encourage others to follow the commissioners' lead in asking local state legislators to vote against any state budget that includes cuts in the funding.

Commission Chairman Jim Carter said he will be talking about the wind turbines that have captured people's attention west of Bowling Green.

"We not only have a tourist attraction in Wood County, but in my opinion, I think it is going to be an historic site," Mr. Carter said.

The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring tomorrow's state-of-the-county address.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at:

jfeehan@theblade.com or

419-353-5972.



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