Event organisers in the Somerset Region will soon have to contend with callout fees for key usage.
Event organisers in the Somerset Region will soon have to contend with callout fees for key usage.

The big fine groups face for not returning council property

DISORGANISED event organisers in the Somerset Region will soon find themselves contending with $400 fees, following changes to council’s Charges Policy.

As part of the booking procedure for events, groups using council facilities are required to pick up and return keys to a council office during normal hours, if they require access to a site or power box, for events operating on weekends or public holidays.

Despite reminders from council officers, council reported a trend of organisers not picking up keys when they’re supposed to, which was put forward to councillors at this week’s meeting.

“Event organisers are increasingly not picking up the keys as instructed, and are calling council after hours to open locks to the power boxes,” council’s Director of Operations Andrew Johnson wrote.

“Even a straightforward case where an officer can visit with the key can cost around $300, and more complex issues – if the key needs to be located, or multiple officers involved – it can easily double.”

After considering the report, councillors gave their unanimous approval for an amendment instituting a callout fee of $400 to event organisers who fail to collect keys when they’re supposed to.