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April 2, 2013

Panel seeks coverage for park

By Denise Richardson
The Daily Star

---- — The Parks and Recreation Commission is recommending that the Common Council require users of parks facilities to provide a certificate of insurance naming the city as a covered party.

Commissioners approved the recommendation during a meeting at City Hall on Monday night, and the measure next goes to the Common Council for consideration.

If the council sets such a policy, user groups, such as youth and adult athletic organizations, no longer would be permitted to submit only waivers in regard to risks in using city facilities.

“We looking out for the best interests of the city,’’ commission Chairman Tim Catella said.

Commissioners suggested an effective date of Sept. 1.

The issue of waiver versus certificate of insurance arose when two groups, the men’s summer basketball league and the adult soccer league, were identified as users of park facilities that provided waivers and not certificates of insurance, according to meeting minutes for December.

Michael Long, who became Oneonta city manager in October, said at that meeting that no one should use city fields without adequate protection and the review was an opportunity to establish uniform requirements.

On Monday, Long said the council may act on the recommendation as presented or adjust the policy and its effective date.

During the meeting Monday, Commissioner Stephen Pindar supported a policy requiring certificates in fairness to all groups.

Commissioner Geoff Davis suggested a recommended policy to go into effect starting Sept. 1 to give groups time to address the requirement.

City Recreation Director Steven Andrews said the adult soccer league and the men’s summer basketball league start activities in June.