Arcanum Planning Committee discusses town hall bat issue


ARCANUM — Members of the Arcanum Village Council’s Planning Committee gathered Tuesday evening to discuss how to go forward in dealing with the bat infestation in the village’s municipal building.

At the last full meeting of council, Village Administrator Bill Kessler presented council members with estimates on eliminating the bats from the building. He suggested using Barnes Wildlife Control of Troy, Ohio, which provided a quote of $7,385 to seal openings in the building, and count and remove the bats. It is estimated there is a colony of 80 or more bats currently hibernating there.

Councilman Greg Baumle, however, expressed reservations on spending further money on the building, which is more than likely going to be demolished.

“Why do we want to put the [money] in the building now, when we don’t know what’s going to happen with it,” he asked.

Councilman Blaine Vencill said, “Regardless of if we do it now or a year from now, it’s decaying at the same pace.”

Kessler had earlier informed council there are only two windows of opportunity this year to begin the process of removing the bats — a three-week window in the spring or in the fall. As well, transferring ownership of the building cannot be accomplished unless the bat problem has first been addressed.

“If we put this off now, there’s no way to get rid of this building until December,” he said.

Baumle agreed to support the expenditure, but suggested the village advertise the building’s availability for the next two years, after which, barring a sale or transfer of ownership, the building will be slated for demolition. Kessler said, as yet, there have been no firm numbers provided as to how much tearing down the building will cost.

The Planning Committee agreed to recommend the $7,835 expenditure for building sealing and bat removal at council’s next meeting, January 30.

As well, the committee discussed ideas for constructing a new municipal building, which is projected to cost far less than attempting to renovate the current structure. Kessler said he is looking into the prospect of applying for state grant money to help with funding. The village is temporarily running operations at All American Clothing Company, 1 Pop Rite Drive. Three locations in town are being considered for future construction.

“This town was founded on very forward-looking progress. They wanted the best of things,” said Kessler. “Our ancestors were very forward thinking. They built a facility that matched their needs. We should be doing the same thing. If we want to honor our past, we should be doing what they would have done.”

By Erik Martin

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The writer may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to

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