Downtown event use of Courthouse restrooms discussed
by CHRISTY ARMSTRONG Banner Staff Writer
Feb 11, 2014 | 635 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Bradley County Building and Land Committee debated during its Monday meeting whether or not people hosting events in the downtown area could use the restrooms in the Bradley County Courthouse while they are taking place.

The MainStreet Cruisers, a group that hosts the MainStreet Cruise-In antique car events during summers downtown, has been utilizing the Courthouse for that purpose for “years and years,” said County Commissioner Jeff Yarber.

He said what brought that into question was an increasing number of requests for organizations wanting to use the Courthouse’s restrooms during times the building would otherwise be closed.

He said the concern was twofold. The building’s security had to be maintained, and he wanted to be sure the facilities stayed clean and ready to be used during normal Courthouse hours.

Eddie Moreland, past president of the MainStreet Cruisers, said he and those with him want the opportunity to “prove” they could continue to use the Courthouse restrooms. He explained volunteers had been cleaning them after each of the seven events they have had each year.

On the issue of security, Moreland suggesting only having one entry to the Courthouse open and getting a law enforcement officer to guard the entrance.

“What you’re onto is something we feel comfortable with,” Yarber said.

He added he likes the idea of charging a deposit to those gaining permission to use the Courthouse for the restroom use because of the costs that could be incurred for cleaning and maintenance.

The deposit would be given back to the group if the facilities were clean enough and no damage is done.

Commissioner Robert Rominger said he had gotten word from the county mayor’s office that it would cost $75 to bring someone in for an extra weekend cleaning shift, if necessary.

It might be appropriate then for any deposit an organization might have to pay be between $75 and $100, said Yarber.

Commissioner Charlotte Peak-Jones said she did not think MainStreet Cleveland should have to pay a deposit, and could be “grandfathered in” since the organization has been using the Courthouse’s facilities for so long. Other organizations wishing to use them would have to pay the deposit.

The committee voted to recommend to the entire Commission that a policy on this matter be put in place. While the policy had not yet been written, it is likely it will include details about things like a possible deposit and the rule of only keeping one entrance unlocked.

Yarber said he and the county attorney may compose a resolution to be presented at the Commission’s next voting session, which is set to take place Feb. 18, because of Presidents’ Day. Additionally, he said he would be looking into the plausibility of getting someone from the Sheriff’s Office to be at the Courthouse during events like the MainStreet Cruise-Ins.