In a special meeting Monday, the Brazil City Parks Board discussed potential liability issues and placement of the skatepark.
Forrest Sherer Insurance Personal Lines Vice President Chris Reynolds said there is a veil of immunity in which liability for incidents involving the equipment would not be on the city's shoulders.
"The equipment must be professionally and architecturally designed and installed," Reynolds said. "There must also be certificates of insurance provided by the installing companies along with plenty of safety signs with specific rules."
He added there are other terms by which the city would have to follow to remain under the veil of immunity, but the city would still have to provide maintenance and document safety checks of the skatepark.
"With extreme sports, the chances of injuries occurring are almost inevitable," Reynolds said. "It is recommended that the skatepark be checked at least once a day and there is nothing in the immediate vicinity that could be moved into the skate area to be used as a prop."
Clay Community Skatepark Committee representative Roberta Weliever informed the board the equipment, which was recently purchased from the Danville area for $36,000, was professionally constructed with precast concrete, and has been reviewed by a construction company.
However, Weliever said the 100-by-120-foot pad for the ramps and equipment to sit on still needs to be constructed. She also said an upside to the new equipment is it is still under warranty.
Reynolds suggested the best way to determine the potential costs of installing the skatepark would be to hire a general contractor who could look at the proposed areas and set specifications for the solicitation of bids for the work.
"Insurance companies do like to see professional work done, along with the certificates of insurance," he said. "On the flip side, the city would be responsible for any work done themselves or by volunteers."
The discussion then turned to the issue of where the skatepark would be installed.
Weliever is hoping the skatepark will be put in the northeast corner of Craig Park to allow more visibility from the public, while the Parks Board is suggesting the northwest corner, where the ground is already leveled.
Members of the board also expressed concern about placing the park in the northeast corner because it would create the problem of having to reconstruct a portion of the cross-country track used by Northview High School and North Clay Middle School.
"I am not in favor of doing anything to damage the cross-country area," Board Secretary Caroline McCullough said. "There has been too much work put into it."
Weliever rebutted stating having the skatepark in clearer view would be better a better option for a variety of reasons.
"With everything we've done and all the hard work put into this, there's always something else to it," she said. "I'm just fighting to put it in a well-trafficked area."
One of the points Weliever brought up was the amount of vandalism could be reduced by having the skatepark in plain view.
However, Board Vice-President Todd Brackman said the issues will be there regardless of where the skatepark is located.
"No matter where you put it, people are going to get hurt, get into fights and graffiti the park," Brackman said. "I'm not saying skateparks cause these things to happen, but they draw everyone, not just skaters."
Board President RuthAnn Jeffries said she would contact Northview Athletic Director Charlie Jackson and other necessary individuals to inquire about the possibility of changing the cross-country area.
"I want to know how much work it would take if it had to be reconfigured," Jeffries said. "We need to see what would be involved and if it could be ready in time for the fall season."
Although disputed by Weliever, board member Bill Houck said he believed the skatepark would not have a significant impact on the number of individuals skating through Brazil.
Also, the presence of new information has deterred one board member from being in favor of having the skatepark in one of the city parks.
"When I initially agreed to this, I did so without all the information I have now," Board Treasurer Linda Messmer said. "We simply do not have the funds available and cannot afford to maintain a new thing, period."
Messmer added while the concrete ramps and equipment may hold up in the short term and be at a minimal maintenance cost for the city, issues would be certain to come up in the future.
"It's only a matter of time before something comes up and it could damage the ability to what we currently have and what we want to put into Craig Park," she said. "With that, I am not for having this being in any of the Brazil parks."