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County won't mandate insurance for use of fields

March 27, 1998|By STEVEN T. DENNIS

County won't mandate insurance for use of fields

County sports leagues won't have to provide $1 million in liability insurance before using county fields this year.

The Washington County Commissioners decided Thursday to keep the policy as it was last year, and require only leagues that use concession stands to provide an insurance certificate.

That insurance was needed in case of food poisoning, said Annajean Bitner, the county's risk management administrator.

County Attorney Richard Douglas had told the commissioners that the insurance requirement would help protect the county from lawsuits.

The decision will save hundreds of dollars for sports leagues that don't already have insurance. Those leagues had been told they would need to present a certificate of insurance before using county fields.

Tim Leather, a player in the Industrial Morning Softball League, had criticized the insurance requirement. Leather said the insurance would cost the eight-team league $600 for a season. The league already pays $400 to use the fields, he said.

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The commissioners two days earlier decided to end a policy instituted this year without their approval. The policy required individual waivers to be signed by athletes or parents or athletes wishing to play organized sports on county fields.

County Administrator Rodney M. Shoop said the issue of liability insurance and the waivers will be referred to the county's insurance committee for recommendations.

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