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Repair of soccer field OK'd by insurance company

July 01, 2010|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Making the new soccer field usable by getting grass to fully cover it and by checking it regularly for metal and glass pieces has been approved by Morgan County's insurance company.

Morgan County Commission President Brenda J. Hutchinson said during Thursday's meeting that West Virginia Risk Pool insurance agent Steve Rawlings told her the county's liability insurance would not be affected, but a written plan needs to be in place and maintained.

The new soccer field across from Morgan Field on U.S. 522 was closed in April because of possible soil contamination and found metal and glass.

Potesta Engineering and Environmental was hired to perform soil tests and to recommend ways to make the field safe for play.

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The small amounts of arsenic found in the soil were considered safe, but the metal and glass pulled out of the ground were a bigger problem, Dave Corsaro of Potesta said.

Last week, Parks and Recreation acting director Bruce Beadenkopf suggested hiring a chemical company to improve the field by making the grass full and lush, which would prevent pieces of metal and glass coming up through the root system.

A metal detector will be used to find metal for removal, and the field must be walked and cleared of any glass or metal before every use.

Commissioner Thomas R. Swaim offered Beadenkopf the use of his metal detector.

Morgan County Parks and Recreation will write the plan and is to keep the county administrator informed, Hutchinson said.

The commissioners voted 2 to 1 to let Parks and Recreation repair the field without removing and replacing 6 inches of soil and reseeding the field.

Potesta Engineering's suggestion, which included taking up the grass, removing 6 inches of soil, covering it with a barrier, replacing the soil and reseeding it, would have cost about $50,000, Hutchinson said.

Commissioner Stacy A. Dugan voted against the decision. She said the issue was the safety of children and not liability.

Both Hutchinson and Swaim said they were for children's safety.

"No one is making a decision to use the field today," Hutchinson said.

The field will be reassessed in the spring before deciding if it can be used, she said. If not, it will not be used, Hutchinson said.

The field will not be needed until March 2011 when soccer practice begins, said Morgan County Prosecutor Debra MH McLaughlin, the soccer league's president.

Beadenkopf said a new well is needed to maintain the grass.

"It takes money, and we don't have it," he said.

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