Sunday, June 1, 2014

City Council: How Much Professional Liability Insurance Does the Skatepark Designer Need?

At its regular meeting on Tuesday, June 3, the City Council will look at an important issue that is currently holding up the skatepark process.

Earlier this year, the City sent out an RFP (Request for Proposals) in order to select a design the skatepark. Two bids were received, and the City chose to offer the contract to Spohn Ranch Skateparks. That was in March. As of June 1, the contract with Spohn Ranch still hasn't been signed.

Why?

In the RFP, the City included a requirement that all contractors working for the city carry $2 million in professional liability insurance. Although they didn't raise the issue when they submitted a proposal, Spohn Ranch says that it only carries $1 million in professional liability insurance, and refuses to purchase additional coverage for the Northfield project.

What can be done?

The City Council can choose to lower the amount of insurance the City requires for this particular project. This would, however, go against the recommendations of the City's risk manager, the City Attorney, and the City's insurance agent.

If the Council chooses not to change the insurance requirement, and Spohn Ranch continues to refuse to increase its coverage, the City will have to seek a new design firm. This will, of course, result in a further delay in the process of designing and building a skatepark.

The skatepark issue is the sixth item on the regular agenda (after the consent agenda and public comment). The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m., and is held in the City Council Chambers in City Hall (801 Washington St.).

You can find the agenda for the City Council meeting, along with the staff memo on the skatepark insurance issue, here (.pdf).

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