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Lakeview Town Council ramps up the skate park discussion

A skate park for the Town of Lakeview is seemingly still on the table.

During the Town Council meeting of Tuesday, Feb. 26, Tonya Menchinella again returned to answer questions regarding proposed liability issues. Bringing with her District Attorney Ulys Stapleton, he spoke to the law surrounding public parks such as the one that Menchinella had championed for seven years.

Providing the council members with a new blueprint for her park hopes, she was adamant that if she did not find success soon, she may relinquish her campaign. “Today will decide for me if I continue this,” she said. “I’m very confident that I can get this built by summer.”

The new design that she submitted would be significantly cheaper than the previous one. It would cost $26,000 and she also expected to receive a grant. Though a match was needed to receive the grant, the funds she had raised over the years would be able to supply it.

Having previously responded to her requests with concerns about the Town’s responsibility towards what they saw as a facility that would invite at least some injury, Stapleton spoke to them about the recreational immunity afforded to parks. As a city attorney for Grants Pass, he said that they would turn many areas into parks under Oregon law, which protected them against any injury accountability.

“Under the law, it eliminates liability for parks as long as you don’t charge” he said to the council. “Once you charge, you incur liability. The bottom line is that any insurance you get will only protect as far as you can afford and the ongoing capital would kill the project.”

This, he said, was the reason that there weren’t lawsuits brought from baseball fields.

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