BATH TOWNSHIP — Those individuals who rent the community room at the Bath Township Building for social events will now be charged a $50 fee if they are accidentally locked out of the building.
Township Trustees unanimously approved the measure during the Sept. 20 township meeting after Township Road Superintendent Vern Heizer told trustees that township employees were being contacted frequently to come and unlock the door to the rental space after individuals left the key inside. Heizer explained that if the door remains locked from inside, people could find themselves locked out of the building if they step outside for any reason.
“If we have to come down to the township building to unlock the door, there should be a charge for it,” Heizer said. “It is getting more numerous. It happens almost every weekend.”
Heizer pointed out that township employees are “off the clock” during the weekends and are working overtime without extra compensation when they drive to the township building to unlock the door.
According to Heizer, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office was even contacted when one individual found herself accidentally locked out of the building when she went outside to smoke a cigarette while food was cooking on the range in the kitchen. Township Trustee Tom Pitstick stated that he had also been contacted several times about unlocking the door to the rental space.
“It used to be a courtesy but it has become so numerous, it is no longer a courtesy. It has almost become a weekly task,” Heizer said.
The township trustees also discussed other methods to alleviate the problem. Township Fiscal Officer Elaine Brown proposed placing a realtor’s lock on the door. Township resident Kassie Lester suggested that the township provide a code to the Realtor’s lock only when an individual is locked out of the building and has contacted a township employee. However, Pitstick noted that the code would have to be changed frequently, and every township employee would then have to be provided with the new code.
Township Trustee John Martin proposed providing individuals with two keys. Brown also suggested a different type of locking device that would remain unlocked until it was locked again with a key. Township Trustee Steven Ross also recommended posting a warning sign at the door.
The township trustees agreed that the lockout fee would be taken out of the security deposit for the rental space and directed Brown to add the regulation to the building rental agreement.
The Bath Township Board of Trustees will meet again in regular session at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5 at the Bath Township Building, 1006 Yellow Springs-Fairfield Road. The public is welcome.
Linda Collins is a freelance writer for Greene County News.