Insurance, liability could be stumbling blocks for Pa. trail proposal

June 17, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH |

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Insurance and liability issues could create roadblocks in attempts to create a trail crossing Waynesboro Area School District property.

Community, Fitness, Fun, Friends and Running, an organization of Waynesboro-area runners, received a $5,000 grant from Summit Endowment to create a trail connecting community parks, according to CFAR members.

Some of the organization’s representatives addressed the Waynesboro Area School Board last week about the trail. They want to clear a section of brush from behind Waynesboro Area Senior High School, then flatten that path and add wood chips for walkers and runners.

A one-mile trail could connect Renfrew Park and Memorial Park, Greg Lyon-Loftus said.

“Main Street isn’t safe,” said Lyon-Loftus, an area doctor.

The proposal has been in development for two years, during which time the school board has received periodic updates.

On Tuesday, school board member Rita Daywalt asked about weeding, mulching and other maintenance. Lyon-Loftus replied the trail should require little upkeep and continued expenditures.

School board member Firmadge Crutchfield said he has concerns about insurance, lighting, security and liability. He said he would have preferred Lyon-Loftus and co-presenter Harry Morningstar Jr. did more advance work, such as obtaining insurance quotes and code requirements, for their discussion.

“I think it’s a nice idea,” he said. “On the other hand, there are a lot of details.”

Morningstar said he believes the trail could be set up in a use-at-your-own-risk situation. Crutchfield disagreed, saying a public school system has separate regulations about safety.

“The moment you invite someone onto your property, you become responsible,” Crutchfield said.

“I think this can be worked through,” said James Flower, the school board’s solicitor.

“The ultimate plan is to connect all the parks, the public areas in the community,” Morningstar said, saying the trail eventually could reach the Appalachian Trail.

“It’s a good idea to improve access to community resources,” Lyon-Loftus said.

“It’s potentially a good idea,” Crutchfield interjected.

He offered to work with CFAR on the proposal.

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