Bat infestation drives Chillicothe city employees out of building

CHILLICOTHE, OH (WCMH) – There’s a situation in Chillicothe that’s literally driving city officials “batty”.

Several hundred of bats have made their home inside a service facility used for city services and parks and recreation.

And with a lot of bats, comes a lot of droppings.

“The worst thing is the stuff coming down the wall and the bat droppings,” said city council president Bruce Arnold.

For now, city employees have been moved out of the building on Riverside Street, to the nearby Armory in Yoctangee Park.

“Currently, we can come in and out of the building, get equipment things like that, but as far as the personnel is concerned they can’t be here all day on a daily basis,” said Arnold.

That’s because bat droppings are toxic, but they can’t just kill all of the animals to get rid of them.

“We can’t exterminate the bats,” he said. “They’re are an endangered species.”

Arnold said getting them out and keeping them out is expensive.

“Do we want to invest money into this building, which is by far not one of the prettiest buildings got in town?” he said.

Arnold said it’ll cost $30,000-$50,000 just to remove the bats and clean up their mess.

It’ll be another $80,000 or more to fix the roof to make sure the flying mammals stay out.

“Do we want to look at moving to a new facility? Not right away, but that’s a long term projection,” he said. “We’re trying to do the most cost-effective solution that we can.”

Arnold said another option could be to sell the building.

But for now, workers will stay at their temporary location for the winter. He expects city council to make a decision on the matter sometime early next year.

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