Aldermen Vote to Pay Tenant's Swimming Pool Liability Insurance

August 2, 2011
Dwayne Page

City officials and the golf course tenant Tony Poss have been at odds over who is to provide liability insurance coverage of the city swimming pool.

During Monday night's city council meeting, Poss addressed the mayor and aldermen with complaints, saying broken tile and other structural defects have developed in the pool over the summer apparently caused by the contractor's poor workmanship while making repairs during the spring.

City officials including aldermen have notified the contractor, Langley and Taylor Pool Corporation of Nashville to come back and fix the problems, but so far the company has not taken action to do so.

As a result, Poss said some injuries have occurred. In one case, the mother of a young child hurt on the diving board has put in a claim and is threatening to sue to collect on doctor bills as a result of the injury, if the city's insurance carrier doesn't pay. Poss said according to his lease, he should be shielded from such liability.

The city's lease with Poss states that "The landlord (City) shall insure, at its sole expense, the clubhouse and pool against fire and other hazards and provide public liability insurance, including general liability coverage, with a limit of not less than one million dollars for any one person and three million dollars coverage per occurrence"

Mayor Taft Hendrixson said the city has public liability insurance to cover the golf course, pool, and all other city properties but it's up to Poss to foot the bill for the general liability insurance for his private business.

Poss said he recently took out a liability insurance policy for $1,800 a year to make sure he was covered, but based on the terms of his lease, Poss asked that the city reimburse him for the cost of that policy.

Alderman Steve White said unlike previous lease agreements with other golf course tenants which did require them to provide general liability coverage, the agreement with Poss does not require him to do so. White said when aldermen were in negotiations with Poss earlier this year, it was his understanding that the city would assume all costs associated with the pool and that Poss would merely be managing it for the city.

Alderman Gayla Hendrix said based on her understanding and reading of the lease, she believes the city should reimburse Poss this year, if he is not covered under the city's liability policy and she made a motion to that effect, which was approved by the council. Alderman Hendrix further suggested that action be taken now to address the minor defects at the pool and to have city attorney Vester Parsley contact the contractor about fixing the more major structural problems. She said the city might have to take legal action against the contractor if he doesn't respond.

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