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Liability concerns may delay water park

by Sandra Faye Douthit - Reporter
| November 3, 2011 1:50 PM

State municipal authority warns in letter to city officials

The proposed water-feature in Troy may be delayed because of liability concerns issued by the Montana Municipal Interlocal Authority (MMIA).

Mayor Don Banning and city-attoney Charles Evans received a letter Oct. 21 from John Cummings, human resources and risk management programs manager for the MMIA, responding to liability issues surrounding the project.

“Looking at the designs provided to me by Gary Rose, liability concerns raised by Mr. Cummings have no applicability to the project,” Evans said.

However, the response is consistent with prior recommendations to seek professional engineers and designers to oversee the project.

Banning has indicated Rose is not an engineer, and therefore he is not qualified to design the project.

The MMIA, as a risk management program, proposed potential hazards for unlicensed and uninsured professionals to engineer the project. 

The water feature could present serious violations to Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regulations. Potential risks include:

•  Problems regarding ground water and stream flow;

•  The potential of designing a project causing a drowning/health hazard;

•  Designing a project creating slips/ice hazards;

•  Potential flooding of residential homes and businesses. 

Banning and Evans have been advised to reconsider any arrangements made with any persons unable to provide professional liability insurance to cover the project.

The city received a donation from the estate of Chuck Hudler for the water feature. During a work meeting held July 14, the Council discussed the importance of contacting the MMIA for the specifics of the project.

The ongoing question surrounding the water feature is whether the city crew can engineer the project.

The project was discussed again during a council meeting held Aug. 17. Gary Rose and Evans said during the meeting they were seeking advice from the MMIA concerning the water-feature.