Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

November 7, 2012

Panel changes community complex leasing policy

CROSSVILLE — A mad scramble to verify a liability insurance policy of a company that put on a demolition derby at the Cumberland County Community Complex has prompted the county's building and grounds committee to amend the policy for booking events at the complex.

An event holder will now be required to have a signed liability insurance policy in the hand of the county no later than 15 days before the event or it will be canceled at the discretion of the county mayor.

Donnie Moody, Cumberland County Community Complex manager reported to the building and grounds committee that the county took a loss on the recent demolition derby that was held at the complex.

"There were only 367 tickets sold by the county, that could be counted for, and there were at least a thousand people there if not more," Moody said. "There were tickets that were pre-sold by the event holder and we don't know how many."

Moody also said there were some discrepancies on the liability insurance policy that the event holder was required to supply, causing a question to arise concerning the validity of the policy.

"It wasn't verified until just before the event," Moody said.

Cumberland County attorney Randal Boston said it was "very chaotic" the last day.

"We need someone from the county to be designated by this panel, or from this panel, to have the authority to make a decision on canceling an event," Boston said.

"Well, I feel it should be the county mayor. He is the CEO of the county. It's not often something like this happens, but we need a mechanism in place," said 5th District Commissioner Joe Koester.

Sonya Rimmer, 8th District commissioner and building and grounds committee chairperson, said she felt the county needed to have the signed policy at least 30 days ahead of the event to prevent something like this from happening again.

"I was ready to cancel the event, but was hesitant because I did not have the authority from this committee," Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr. said.

"It seems simple to me, we just change the policy," 9th District Commissioner Carmin Lynch said.

Carey suggested having a policy in hand no less than 15 days before the event or it is canceled.

Boston said he was contacted to look at the policy and when he researched the company, Over The Top Productions, LLC, it showed it was not an active corporation.

"You'd need at least 15 days. I'll tell you. I was a nervous wreck. It was a pretty hair-raising day getting it together," Boston said.

The policy was eventually validated and the event was allowed to take place, but it literally was hours before the event.

Boston explained there is some assumed risk coming to an event like a demolition derby, tractor pull or rodeo, but the county definitely has to have a liability policy from the event holder.

Lynch said he also felt the county mayor should be the one to make an operational decision over the event.

Larry Allen, 6th District commissioner, then made a motion to amend the policy of the Cumberland County Community Complex and require proof of liability insurance to be in the hand of the county no less than 15 days prior to an event or it is canceled at the discretion of the county mayor.

Dave Hassler, 3rd District commissioner, supported the motion and it was unanimously approved.

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