Council asks for clarification of insurance coverage - September 21st 2022
By Cynthia Drummond for BRVCA
September 21st 2022
RICHMOND – Town Council members considered a shorter than usual list of agenda items at Tuesday’s meeting, which began with the approval of a resolution honoring Hayden Puglia, the first female Eagle Scout in South County.
Puglia, of Narragansett Council Troop 2 in Kingston, built several pieces of equipment for the K9 agility course at the new dog park.
A discrepancy in insurance coverage requirements for the use of town facilities by outside groups prompted a discussion that ended with Town Solicitor Karen Ellsworth agreeing to draft a policy that would apply to outside groups wishing to use town facilities.
The issue, Town Manager Karen Pinch explained, is the difference between the requirements for outside groups using town property, that must first receive approval from the council, and other groups that use town-owned facilities such as the Senior Center, which is located above the police station.
“It came to my attention that we have a discrepancy on [insurance] policies,” she said. “We have one policy for the use of town’s property and facilities, those things have to come before Town Council, so they’re approved by the council. There’s no fee for that; there’s a $1 million insurance policy that is required for that. And on the other hand, we have a senior/community center, that people will sign up with the Police Clerk. There is a fee for that, but no insurance is required for that.”
Several non-profit groups currently pay the fee of $5 per day to use the Senior Center’s community room, and Council President Nell Carpenter said she would not consider raising the fee.
“The council discussed this a couple of years ago, and the increase of the fees for the usage of the Community Center, and that was something that I was adamant in saying that I didn’t want to increase the fees, because so many of these organizations are derived by member donation,” she said.
Council members agreed to ask Ellsworth to come up with a policy that would include an insurance requirement for outside groups that would be consistent for all town facilities.
Pinch also announced that the League of Women Voters will host a “Meet the Candidates” event on Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the Chariho Middle School auditorium. Richmond Town Council and School Committee candidates will be invited to attend.
The remote component of the Public Forum portion at the end of the council meeting did not take place as planned. A technical glitch prevented two residents, Republican Town Committee Chair Louise Dinsmore and Town Council candidate Mark Reynolds, from participating in the meeting by phone. Reynolds was later able to ask his question regarding road repairs when he drove to the Town Hall.
(State law no longer requires the town to offer hybrid meetings, but Richmond offers a remote option for those who do not want to attend the meetings in person. The technical issue has been resolved.)