The use of a key fob system to allow access to Canal Winchester's community center has proved more convenient for the public and city staff members, according to Public Works Director Matt Peoples.
Peoples said at city council's Feb. 4 finance committee meeting that plans are to expand the system to Town Hall and the Canal Winchester Municipal Building, the two other facilities regularly available to the public.
Over the past year, he said, staff and community members have used the electronic key fob system to open the center, which has eliminated concerns about lost or stolen keys.
"We've had a great success at the community center with this, once we learned the system," Peoples said. "It's so much more flexible than we even thought it would be. So if someone rents the hall, then the key just works for the time period when they are there and the door locks automatically after that."
Currently, there is a $25 penalty if a key fob is not returned after a facility rental agreement has ended, Peoples said.
"The key fobs will be available for all our public-access buildings, which we wanted to do last year as well, but couldn't fit it in," Peoples said. "We'll be using a credit card type key along with the key fobs and it will all be integrated so we can centrally manage the whole thing."
He said the expansion comes with a one-time fee of $20,000, but can then be maintained by the city staff. Golden Bear Lock and Safe, which did the previous installation, will also be responsible for this expansion, he said.
"The wiring of it is the biggest part of the cost, and the historic nature of a building like Town Hall makes the installation a little tricky," Peoples said. "But they've got a lockset that will work that shouldn't look out of place on the building."
Peoples said he hopes the new system will be up and running sometime this spring.