Bill for unauthorized Reading Country Club wedding exceeds $9,600

The superintendent of the Reading County Club has been billed $9,683 by Exeter Township for an unauthorized wedding he booked at the township-owned facility on Oct. 9.

The event, which included incidents where a golf cart was damaged and a guest was injured, has drawn public scrutiny. About 50 township residents attended an October supervisors meeting to voice their concerns about it.

At that meeting, township solicitor Elizabeth Magovern told the crowd that the wedding was initially booked as a golf outing, but what actually occurred “exceeded the scope of what was permitted for the type of event that was booked.”

Magovern told the crowd that the township had conducted a full investigation, saying the event was hastily arranged and scheduled on Sept. 15.

The solicitor said the event was booked by an employee of the township, who would be responsible for covering all out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the township. That includes higher fees associated with a wedding, as well as the cost of damage down to township property during the event.

Magovern said the employee who booked the event and another employee who was involved would face discipline.

Township officials did not reveal the names of the employees who were involved or the total cost of the event.

The Reading Eagle submitted a Right to Know request to the township seeking information on the cost and other details of the event. In response, the township provided four separate invoices related to the wedding.

The first was dated Oct. 9 and totaled $1,175.

A message from township opens records officer Tina Stephens that accompanied the invoices said the invoice was created by Derrick Sandritter, the facilities manager at the country club.

It was paid by Brian Ahrens, the country club’s superintendent.

Stephens wrote that the invoice was not reviewed or approved by the township administration.

The first invoice includes $775 for wine and kegs of Miller Lite and Labatt beer, as well as a $300 rental fee and $100 for flowers.

A second invoice, written on township letterhead and dated Oct. 26, has a much different accounting of the costs of the wedding.

It totals $8,064.

The costs on the second invoice include:

• $3,500 for room rental.

• $150 for a kitchen fee.

• $4,676 for an open bar. That reflects $28 per person for 167 over four hours.

• $186 for bar tap cleaning.

• $727 for facility cleaning.

Stephens wrote that the Oct. 26 invoice was sent to Ahrens after township officials learned of the scope of the event, adding that a credit of $1,175 was included to reflect the amount Ahrens had already paid.

A third and fourth invoices, each from Golf Cart Services Inc. and dated Oct. 27, charged a total of $443 for repairs to a golf cart that was damaged during the event. Those invoices were also sent to Ahrens.

Stephens wrote that the Oct 26 and Oct. 27 invoices had to be paid by Nov. 27. It was not immediately clear if any payments had been made.

Ahrens did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment left Friday.

Along with the invoices, the Reading Eagle also sought other information from the township about the wedding. Those aspects of the Right to Know request were denied by the township, citing the following reasons:

• A request for any agreements or contracts related to the event was denied because no such records exist.

• An accounting of how much the township spent on staffing the event was denied because no such records exist.

• A request for any emails sent or received by township employees about the wedding was denied because the only emails that exist were sent or received by the township solicitor. The township said those communications are protected by attorney-client privilege.