Commission Approves Donation Bin Ordinance Change

By Michael Gossum | 

With a 4-1 vote the bowling green city commission approved the second reading of an ordinance that would change the location of donation drop off bins in the city.

Before it was voted on, Special Olympics had multiple advocates speak.

"This provision discriminates charities such as Special Olympics and treats them differently than those charities like a Goodwill or others that own the property upon which the bins were placed," said attorney Elisabeth Gray.

The new ordinance requires the drop-off bins to be permanently attached to buildings.

"I'm going to be honest, you put us out of business," said Steve McGill, Ohio Mills Corp.

Previously bins could be anywhere on the property.

"If I go in and I ask, can I drill a hole through your building, they don't want us destroying their building. It's not going to happen," said McGill.

"The bin ordinance would do considerable damage to a program that serves more than 100 Bowling Green special needs athletes and their families. It would jeopardize funding that helps keep our program accessible to as many athletes as possible, trains our coaches and volunteers, pays for the cost of background checks for volunteers to keep our athletes safe," said Special Olympics Communications Director Mark Buerger.

Although Commissioners say they support programs like the Special Olympics, city officials expressed concern that these bins were blocking driver's vision and could be a danger to children's safety because the bins were allowed to be on any part of the property.

Attorney Elisabeth Gray said it's to early to decide if they'll file suit, but she said there is certainly a basis for one.

The commission will meet again in September, but this ordinance now goes into effect because Tuesday night was the second reading.

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